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Industry News

Substantial Markets for MMICs Built Using Compound Semiconductors

February 19, 2008
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A recently released report from Engalco (“The Compound Semiconductor MMICs Report”) indicates that the global markets for such CS MMICs will grow steadily from $2.6 B in 2006 to over 5.1 B in 2014. MMICs using GaAs, GaN, InP, InGaP and SiGe are considered and the report focuses on the following application segments: cell phones, defense, ISM, SATCOM and wireless infrastructure. CS MMICs are implemented as switches, amplifiers, oscillators, frequency synthesizers, frequency converters and complete transceivers.


Chips built using GaAs continue to dominate the market, although both InP and SiGe MMICs experienced increasing market shares over the years—both occupying markets worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Markets for GaN MMICs grow very strongly over the time scale considered here. InP chips are increasingly important in certain defense and space applications while InGaP MMICs find more and more applications as cell phone power amplifiers.

Defense consistently represents the largest segment for CS MMICs, typically taking more than 39 percent of the total. By 2014 defense markets will be worth over $2 B, while SATCOM, wireless infrastructure and cell phones (GaAs and InGaP) will be in the medium to high hundreds of millions of dollars markets for CS MMICs. Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) and WiMAX markets are smaller, but also (especially WiMAX) increasingly significant markets.

Markets for MMICs into cell phones, WiMAX terminals and other related devices are particularly important and growing most notably in China, India, Japan and Korea. However, defense markets remain substantial in North America (especially the US) and this factor forces the overall markets to be led by North America until 2014 during which year the extensive region known as the “Rest of the World” (RoW) finally overtakes North America. China, most notably, is of course within this RoW region.

In this report average selling prices (ASP) and shipments are provided in selected instances—again with forecasts to 2014. A total of 53 RFIC manufacturing and “fabless” companies are identified and 23 of these are profiled in depth. The players that have fabless operations are identified and the entire industry structure is critiqued in detail including worldwide sales operations for each player. Engalco is a tech-sector consultancy, industry analysis, market forecasting and publishing concern. With strong experience in all relevant commercial and defense segments, the firm specializes mainly in the RF/microwave, wireless, fiber-optics, photonics and related electronics sectors. Since its inception in 1989, Engalco has been responsible for many published market reports and the completion of several private client projects in these sectors. The firm’s mission is to continue providing a range of vital types of analysis, research and publishing services, in addition to customized consultancy based upon proven specialist capabilities. For further information, contact Engalco at +44 (0) 1262 424 249 (GMT) or e-mail: enquiries@engalco-research.com.

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