On April 1, 2020 Engalco Research released the latest update of its report on mmWave chipsets into 5G xhaul providing in-depth market data and analyses of this exciting and burgeoning communications segment. According to the firm’s senior researcher Terry Edwards, “mmWave links are already strategically important and we have found that strong market growth can be expected through most of this decade—globally.” 

mmWave subsystems are increasingly important for “xhaul” (mainly backhaul) in 5G base stations. mmWave radio links can be installed comparatively rapidly and in a less costly manner than (for example) fiber optics. Available bandwidths (GHz) are much smaller than those applying to fiber but these bandwidths are eminently suitable for 5G xhaul purposes. This radio-based approach is also much more rapidly installed (and is less costly) than fiber cables. Hence mmWave technology in this role has for several years been prominent and this situation is expected to expand over many years ahead.
Frequencies range from around 20 GHz to over 100 GHz and designated bands within this wide range are: K/Ka, V, E and W. To date most of the interest and activity has been centered on the K/Ka bands—notably with Verizon in the U.S., but activities are also increasing for all the higher bands, from V-band upward.

This 64-page report provides data and analysis on the total addressable markets for all classes of mmWave chipsets into APAC, China, Europe and North America. These data are available for each year ranging from 2019 (base year) with forecasts to 2028. Global totals range from $1.49bn in 2019 growing annually (except 2020) to reach $1.81bn in 2028. North America always leads but the three other regions vary in their (always substantial) contributions.

Engalco Research investigated as many suppliers as possible—mmWave modules as well as chipsets. A total 15 module OEMs were identified, ranging from BridgeWave to Wireless Excellence. Altogether 32 chipset originators and manufacturers were also identified, ranging from Analog Devices to Viper RF. Profiles are provided for all 47 companies. Analysis is also provided by operating frequency bands, types of semiconductor materials, geographic regions and whether the company operates its own fab, is fabless—or both.