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Industry News

GaAs is In but Silicon is Not Out

February 1, 2003
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Aggressive pricing has boosted demand for GaAs-based wireless power ICs. Today, even some moderately priced GSM handsets are using GaAs power amplifiers. Another trend in handset design is the increased reliance upon power modules. Modules greatly simplify design of notoriously complex power amplification circuits. While the market for power modules reached $528 M in 2001, a sharp double-digit increase is expected by year-end 2002 as more and more OEMs employ modules in their designs.

These are some of the trends revealed in a new study by Allied Business Intelligence (ABI). The study, "RF Power Devices: Transistors, ICs, Power Modules and New Materials," examines RF power transistors and ICs for various end-use markets. While the report outlines trends in the market for wireless handsets and infrastructure, other segments are addressed.

Other trends examined include the following:

In the 802-11x WLAN market, GaAs and SiGe will battle it out for future dominance of this segment, poised to grow more than 40 percent compounded annually through 2007.

For wireless infrastructure, silicon-based LDMOS still dominate base station designs. However, recent developments in GaN may displace LDMOS in the not so distant future.

While the wireless industry accounts for nearly 60 percent of the total market across all segments examined, other markets, including wireless LAN, ISM and military, will comprise a larger portion by the end of the forecast period in 2007.

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