- Buyers Guide
Since writing this article, additional news items have been released to support this story as we will continue to follow it. About a week ago, Skyworks announced a cost-effective CMOS front-end module (FEM) for GPRS handsets. Skyworksâ new device offers handset OEMs architectures and high-performance solutions for entry-level phones in a small 5 x 6 mm package. By eliminating the need to optimize matching between the amplifier and the switch, this module helps accelerate customersâ time-to-market relative to other more traditional architectures, and simplifies the supply chain for high-volume, cost-sensitive phones. I believe this device is a continuation of the work done by Axiom Microdevices that they acquired about a year ago. This keeps them in the cellular handset market with both technologies.
And now Engalco has released a new report on how GaN and SiGe are making in roads into traditional GaAs markets. According to their market report â MMICs2 â the compound semiconductor MMIC market to 2015 â GaAs MMICs will remain important, while GaN and SiGe MMICs will progressively invade these markets. Although the overall worldwide total markets are forecasted to reach $6.26 B in 2015, this total continues to be dominated by the commodity markets of cell phones (over $3 B) and both intelligent cruise control and mobile WiMAX ($1.2 B each). After these end-users have been considered, the remaining market segments of defense, ISM, microwave radio, millimeter-wave radio, SATCOM and SATNAV all come in with much lower market shares. Of these, microwave radio accounts for a market worth around $280 M in 2015; millimeter-wave radio exhibits exceptionally high (double-digit) growth to reach $420 M in the same year. The latter market is driven by the exploding capacity requirements of multi-Gbit links.
In the defense segment the report says North America (principally the US) leads, but both Europe and Asia (especially) are increasingly important. The report indicates how both GaN- and SiGe-based MMICs will progressively invade many market segments. The utility of GaN MMICs for high-power/high-efficiency RF amplification is becoming well known; the application will also be extended to other functions in RF modules. SiGe-based MMICs are already being implemented in low-power signal processing roles, mainly in receivers and switches.