Spending on RF high-power semiconductors for the wireless infrastructure markets continues to flatten out in 2017, despite the fact that the overall market hit well over $1.4bn in 2016, according to ABI Research. While certain market and sub-market segments are showing moderate growth, gallium nitride (GaN) is capturing meaningful market share of RF high-power semiconductors, especially in wireless infrastructure. The technology will drive GaN’s share of RF power semiconductor revenue to 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 research director Lance Wilson. “This now mainstream technology bridges the gap between two older technologies, exhibiting the high-frequency performance of gallium arsenide and power handling capabilities of silicon LDMOS.”
Outside of wireless infrastructures in the RF high-power semiconductor business, defense-oriented and commercial avionics/air traffic control (ATC) market segments show the strongest performance.
“Despite the ongoing poor press for defense-oriented electronic hardware, the actual performance in 2016 was better than originally thought for some sub-segments,” says Wilson. “In total, the defense-oriented and commercial ATC segments will be a significant long-term market and one to keep an eye on moving forward.”