Spending on RF power semiconductors (for < 4 GHz and > 3 W) continued to grow in 2018, surpassing the $1.5 billion mark, found ABI Research. The wireless infrastructure segment has also turned around and all segments are up. GaN–long seen as the likely promising new “material of choice” for RF power semiconductors–is continuing its march to capture share.
“GaN has gained market share in 2018 and is forecasted to be a significant force over the next few years,” noted ABI Research Director Lance Wilson. “It bridges the gap between two older technologies, exhibiting the high-frequency performance of GaAs combined with the power handling capabilities of Silicon LDMOS. GaN is now a mainstream technology which has achieved more than measurable market share and, in the future, will capture more than a quarter of the market.
Wireless infrastructure, while representing about two-thirds of total sales, had strong 2018 performance. Growth for other segments outside of wireless infrastructure are showing mid-single digit CAGR over the forecast period of 2019 to 2024.
The vertical market showing the strongest uptick in the RF power semiconductor adoption business, outside of wireless infrastructure, is commercial avionics and air traffic control, which Wilson describes as being now “a significant market.” While the producers of these devices are in the major industrialized countries, this sub-segment market is now so global that end equipment buyers can be from anywhere.