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Industry News

The Commercial Market

January 1, 2002
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The Commercial Market


Market for Discrete Microwave Semiconductors to Exceed $1.1 B in 2005

A new report entitled "Microwaves North America III - Discrete Microwave Semiconductors - Markets to 2005," suggests that the overall total available markets for this class of RF/microwave products will grow from the $890 M level to exceed $1.1 B by 2005. The study includes detailed industry and market data on the following classes of discrete microwave semiconductors: diodes (all types), silicon transistors, GaAs FETs, HEMTs (including pHEMTs) and newer types of devices - including HBTs. There are full profiles of 14 major supply-side companies as well as an extensive industry directory.

Discrete microwave semiconductors complement the strong position and growth in microwave integrated circuits, on which another study is available in the same series. Over the entire forecast period, diodes lead the industry with markets worth around $280 M in 2001 and forecast to exceed $330 M in 2005. After diodes, silicon transistors follow closely in terms of total available markets, then GaAs FETs, (mainly power) and HEMTs. Newer devices such as HBTs occupy smaller total markets but are enjoying relatively strong growth rates.

In most instances, the economic slowdown is having only marginal effects on these markets that are fuelled by growth in sectors such as broadband satellite, HAPs and WLANs - with 3G in the future. The recent acceleration of activity in video conferencing is also providing a significant market driver. There are also, particularly since the second week of September 2001, strongly growing opportunities in cell phone (mobile) applications, the security segment and substantially growing requirements in the defense sector. For additional information, contact: Terry Edwards, Engalco (International) +44 1904 767 019 or visit www.engalco.com.

Raytheon and Systemonic to Collaborate on Next Generation Wireless Communications

Raytheon Commercial Ventures Inc. announced the completion of an agreement between Raytheon Commercial Electronics (RCE) and Systemonic AG to collaborate on next generation wireless communication solutions. The agreement gives Raytheon an equity stake in Systemonic in exchange for key assets of RCE's wireless local area network (LAN) group.

Advanced RF technology and several wireless LAN products will be integrated into Systemonic's product line, including a 5 GHz two-chip set, known as 802.11a in the wireless communication industry. The result: a complete suite of high performance wireless connectivity products that powers data, video and voice over wireless computer networks and multiple technology standards at speed up to 54 Mbps, the fastest in the industry. Systemonic also gains access to Raytheon's world-class RF design, manufacturing and supply chain capability. As part of the intellectual property exchange, several Raytheon employees join Systemonic.

"This agreement furthers Raytheon's wireless LAN technology investment," said John Harbison, president of Raytheon Commercial Ventures Inc. "The mission of RCVI is to find creative ways to leverage Raytheon's technology leadership in commercial enterprises. In this case, we are collaborating with a successful company targeting one of the hottest areas of high tech. Systemonic is already a leader in HiperLAN2 technology in Europe and with Raytheon's deep expertise in RF we expect they will be a major player in the wireless communications area."

Bluetooth Vision on the Verge of Reality

After years of frustrated promises and more hype than bite, Bluetooth products are inching toward a commercial reality. With progress so far hampered by technical and pricing issues, Bluetooth is starting to blossom into a number of active application markets.

The coming of age of Bluetooth in 2001 has triggered major breakthroughs, including the development of the first true single chip Bluetooth solutions, falling subsystem cost and the debut of end-user devices fully compliant with the Bluetooth 1.1 specification.

According to a new study by Frost & Sullivan, the international marketing consulting company, the specifications are now firm enough to provide a platform for integration into all of the original application areas, such as mobile computers and mobile phones, along with a glut of emerging applications.

Although areas such as interference, interoperability and security continue to be a challenge, the advent of solutions in compliance with Bluetooth 1.1 specification in the public domain at the end of 2001 marks the beginning of the technology's ubiquity.

Vendors have now a solid platform to promote consumer adoption and develop the next generation of products, while developers are looking at the software as well as the hardware that will provide the extended functionality to Bluetooth, driving it beyond simple cable replacement.

The Bluetooth industry now appears to have begun overcoming the negative connotations attached to the excessive buzz and hype that has marred its development over recent years.

Despite the inroads now being made, Frost & Sullivan acknowledges that earlier forecasts of the technology's development overestimated its time to market. Michael Wall, research analyst at Frost & Sullivan reports: "We still foresee a positive future for Bluetooth and project shipments of over 1.2 million Bluetooth-enabled devices in 2001, with total revenues from these devices exceeding $862 M. By 2007, we expect to see shipments of Bluetooth-enabled devices above the one billion mark, generating revenues of more than $318 B."

The commitment of almost 2500 organizations to the Bluetooth Special Interest Group shows the strength and depth that the industry enjoys. The level of support for Bluetooth in its short lifetime is unparalleled in the history of communication technology.

With multi-billion dollar investment having been funneled into the development of Bluetooth wireless technology, developers are now almost at the stage where return on investment (ROI) is becoming a more realistic prospect.

Frost & Sullivan's research suggest that Europe, once the clear leader in Bluetooth adoption and development, is being overtaken by North America, while Asia is making rapid progress.

In North America, computer and communication equipment vendors are responsible for pushing Bluetooth into the mainstream consciousness. In Silicon Valley, silicon developers have continued the area's reputation for innovation with fabless semiconductor vendors such as Transilica and Zeevo making advances in complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, while Texas Instruments and Agere Systems have placed their weight fully behind Bluetooth.

Radio Frequency Investigation Completes First Mobile Phone SAR Tests

Radio Frequency Investigation Ltd. (RFI) has completed its first SAR test project for a major telecommunications company following the delivery of its new phantom from Swiss supplier Schmid and Partners. The new phantom's design enables easier and more repeatable positioning of mobile handsets and was commissioned to help manufacturers meet the latest SAR testing requirements.

The harmonized standard EN 50360 published in July is the product standard that manufacturers must now follow to demonstrate compliance of mobile phone with basic restrictions related to human exposure to electromagnetic fields in the range 300 MHz to 3 GHz. It is potentially more demanding than previous standards and refers to new test procedures and measurements to demonstrate compliance with Article 3.1A of the RTTE Directive. The test procedure specifies more detailed SAR measurements and reinforces the importance of SAR measurements and the role they play in giving confidence regarding the health and safety of mobile phones. For more information, contact: Helen Ewins at 01256 855408 or by e-mail at helen.ewins@rfi-wireless.com or visit www.rfi-wireless.com.

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