Strategy Analytics analysts, speaking at the plenary sessions of both the IEEE CSIC Symposium and the Power Amplifier Symposium, reaffirmed that GaAs technologies will continue to dominate the radio front-end in cellular handsets, despite competition from silicon technologies.

The move toward 3G and beyond, coupled with the need to maintain backwards compatibility, has led to multi-mode and multi-band architectures, while increasing requirements for linear performance and efficiency in the power amplifier (PA).

According to Asif Anwar, director, GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies for Strategy Analytics, “GaAs is often portrayed as an expensive, exotic technology, but the reality is that GaAs continues to meet the challenges of cost, packaging, time-to-market and integration for the cellular handset market. Long Term Evolution (LTE) and beyond will lead to even higher frequencies and data rates, and the PA will continue to be the critical component in mobile phones through 2012.”

Stephen Entwistle, VP of the Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice, adds, “W-EDGE has emerged as the de facto standard for new handsets operating across multiple regions by supporting W-CDMA, EDGE, and legacy GSM and GPRS modes. Moving forward, Strategy Analytics expects to see the emphasis on multi-mode operation remain vital for handset OEMs.”

A précis of the presentation, "Challenges and Opportunities for Compound Semiconductors in the Mobile Handset Roadmap," is available at