Mobile Experts has released updated base station and transceiver forecasts, which indicate a major disruption in the market for China Mobile TD-LTE production. RF semiconductor suppliers are ramping up production which corresponds with delivery of 207,000 TD-LTE base stations. However, despite widespread media reports that 200,000 base stations will be deployed during 2013, industry semiconductor suppliers indicate that production and deployment limitations will stretch deliveries over a period of roughly 18 months.
Mobile Experts released its annual market study on Semiconductors in Remote Radio Heads, which illustrates the trends in radio design for LTE and LTE-Advanced networks. One key direction involves the migration of small-cell radio architecture into high power macrocell radio heads. By 2018, more than 40% of RRH units will utilize a multi-core System on Chip (SoC) processor instead of the traditional FPGA or ASIC.
The new forecast reveals the inner workings of the transforming market, and also the inner workings of components such as LDMOS devices, GaN devices, analog-to-digital converters (ADCs), digital-to-analog converters (DACs), analog quadrature modulators (AQMs), phased lock loops, (PLLs), low noise amplifiers (LNAs), and other devices.
Mobile Experts' in-depth analysis delivers a unique cross-section of the market that uncovers information about pricing trends, market shares, and competitive dynamics in the $2.5 billion RRH semiconductor market. The market is quickly transforming; low-cost integrated semiconductors are ready to steal the spotlight from discrete semiconductors, resulting in a line-up with fewer components, and possibly fewer vendors.
"Increasing bandwidth will be a challenge this year," said Joe Madden, Principal Analyst at Mobile Experts. "Some spectrum allocations have reached 190 MHz in bandwidth or more, and various operators have different strategies for how to deploy radios on the spectrum. Mobile Experts has determined how the Carrier Aggregation and wideband radios will be deployed, and we've charted the impact to ASICs, FPGAs, SOCs, mixed-signal devices, and RF components. In particular, we can expect integrated transceivers developed for small cell applications to become a big part of the macro market."