Spending on RF high power semiconductors for the wireless infrastructure markets continues to flatten this year, despite the fact that the overall market hit well over $1.4 billion in 2016. While certain market and sub-market segments are showing moderate growth, ABI Research finds that GaN is capturing meaningful share of the RF high power semiconductor market, especially in wireless infrastructure. ABI Research estimates that GaN’s share of RF power semiconductor revenue will more than double between 2016 and 2022.

“GaN is again increasing its market share in 2017, and we believe it will be the major technology force in wireless infrastructure RF high power semiconductors by 2022,” says Lance Wilson, research director at ABI Research. “This now mainstream technology bridges the gap between two older technologies, exhibiting the high frequency performance of GaAs and power handling capabilities of Si LDMOS.”

Outside of wireless infrastructures, defense and commercial avionics/air traffic control (ATC) market segments show the strongest performance for the RF high power semiconductor business.

“Despite the ongoing poor press for defense-oriented electronic hardware, the actual performance in 2016 was better than originally thought for some sub-segments,” said Wilson. “In total, the defense-oriented and commercial ATC segments will be a significant longterm market and one to keep an eye on moving forward.”