Many end-users, ranging from cellular infrastructure OEMs to the military, will continue to purchase various types of discrete RF/microwave diodes and transistors. For several applications, hybrid circuits implementing discrete RF devices, as opposed to MMICs or RFICs, offer economically and technically attractive tailored solutions—occasionally even for modules destined for volume shipments. A new industry and merchant markets report from Engalco indicates that global markets for these classes of semiconductors will increase from $2.05 B in 2006 to reach $4.41 B by 2014. Silicon power transistors (LDMOS, VDMOS, etc.) will continue to be required in base station final RF power amplifiers and this report identifies the continuing clear market leadership held by such products. There will be strong growth in markets for GaN FETs and GaN HEMTs, but a near-future market decline for small-signal GaAs FETs. Until 2013, GaAs FETs will occupy the third largest market, but power GaAs FETs, in particular, are facing increasing competition from GaN FETs and GaN HEMTs. Markets for the group of transistor devices including PHEMTs and GaN HEMTs just nudge ahead of those for GaAs FETs by the end of 2013 and advance further to exceed GaAs FET market levels by 2014.

In general markets for small-signal RF/microwave transistors of all types are continually being eroded by MMICs and RFICs. Led by Schottky detectors (but including other devices) the overall classes of passive diodes collectively occupy the second largest overall market position, rising steadily to $788 M by 2014. This is a result of consistently large volume sales. By 2014, cellular infrastructure and defense form the major end-user segments, but the former has increased somewhat—mainly at the expense of the defense market, which shrinks relatively by three percent in under eight years.

Globally, but mainly influenced by North America, there is an on-going resurgence in satellite systems while sophisticated defense applications are slowing down somewhat. The major overall markets are always in North America, but this share is slowly declining in relative terms in favor of strongly increasing Asia/Pacific Rim application opportunities. In this report, average selling prices (ASP) and shipments are also provided in several instances—again with forecasts to 2014. A total of 52 manufacturing supply companies are profiled in depth and the industry structure is covered in detail including worldwide sales operations. Engalco is a tech-sector consultancy, industry analysis, market forecasting and publishing concern. With strong experience in all relevant commercial and defense segments, the firm specializes mainly in the RF/microwave, wireless, fiber optics, photonics and related electronics sectors. For further information, contact Engalco at +44 (0) 1262 424 249 (GMT) or by e-mail: