Microwave Journal

Handset RF front end market to double to $12B

May 1, 2012

A new forecast published today indicates that multi-mode, multi-band handsets and MIMO will drive staggering growth in the number of RF components shipped for mobile devices. By 2017, annual sales of 3 billion mobile devices will drive almost 20 billion different bands and operating modes.

“LTE is driving dramatic change,” explained Joe Madden, Principal Analyst at Mobile Experts. “Because LTE frequencies are so fragmentary around the world, and MIMO is used for all LTE devices, the value of RF components in a typical smartphone will grow from $6 to $10 during the next five years.”

“To deal with the huge complexity in RF front ends, mobile OEMs will be introducing multiple new technologies. Multi-mode, multi-band power amplifiers (MMPAs), Envelope Tracking (ET), Antenna Tuning and Impedance Match Tuning, CMOS PAs, and Uplink MIMO are among the new techniques to squeeze performance out of the handset.”

“Mobile Experts completed a survey of more than 50 companies in order to analyze the entire RF front end market. We feel that looking at only one segment is inadequate, because all of these new technologies are intertwined. We have analyzed this market down to individual frequency bands.”

Handset RF Front Ends: MMPAs, ET, Tuning, FEMs, and MIMO  includes 130-pages of analysis, with 90 charts and 28 exhibits. The comprehensive analysis provides:

  • A five-year RFFE forecast, including:
    • Antennas
    • Amplifiers
    • Filters and duplexers
    • Switches
    • Front end modules or FEMs (PADs, ASMs, TxMs, filter/switch modules)
    • Antenna tuners and Impedance match tuners
    • Multimode, multiband PAs (MMPAs)
    • Envelope tracking PAs (ET PAs)
    • CMOS PAs
    • Terminals including handsets, tablets, PCs, and M2M
    • RF front ends forecasts by frequency band and air interface standard

 

  • Analysis of individual market segments, including:
    • Market shares for each component area
    • Unit shipments forecasted for each component
    • Average selling price (ASP) forecasted for each component
    • Revenue forecasted for each component
    • RF front ends forecasted by frequency band
    • RF front ends forecasted by air interface standard
    • Forecasted combinations of technology (ET and MMPA, ET and FEM)

 

  • Cost analysis of RF front ends and business analysis of the reasons for migrating to new technologies
  • Block diagram examples for worldphone, smartphone, feature phone, tablet, and PC RF front ends