While markets for RF power amplifiers continue their slow decline in developed regions, two new developments – the massive wireless infrastructure rollout in China and the approaching wave of LTE deployments in the West – will provide a temporary lift over the next few years, according to the latest ABI Research forecasts. The Asia-Pacific Region, including Japan, presently accounts for nearly 50% of the RF power semiconductor devices that are sold into the mobile wireless infrastructure segment.

Although the market for RF power amplifiers has been less affected by the economic downturn than some other electronics segments, it has not been completely immune. The recession’s effects have added to the pre-existing gentle contraction of the market to create a somewhat bleak outlook. But now according to research director Lance Wilson, “China ‘has the pedal to the metal’ in its massive wireless infrastructure rollout, and since only some of the resulting demand for RF power amplifiers is being met domestically, it has been a windfall for international vendors.”

That demand is expected to buoy the market until at least sometime in 2010, and probably the Chinese deployments will only start to slow in 2011.

And in a happy coincidence for equipment vendors, 2011 is the expected time-frame for LTE deployments in developed countries to really gather a head of steam. “Although LTE has not significantly impacted RF power amplifier and device sales in the near term,” says Wilson, “it is going to bolster RF power sales in the wireless infrastructure space from about 2011 on.”

Wilson also notes that since the previous edition of the report, there have been some modest changes in the breakdown of market share held by the leading RF power device vendors.

“RF Power Amplifiers” examines evolving design parameters and materials, price versus performance and the interdependent relationship of RF power semiconductors to RF power amplifiers. Quantitative forecasts are presented through 2014 for both segments.