GaN RF devices market to double in five years
The gallium nitride (GaN) market saw a healthy increase in 2015 and the GaN RF devices market is expected to double in the next five years, according to a new report from Yole Développement.
The dramatic increase in wireless infrastructure market sales was driven by the massive adoption of LTE networks in China. By the end of 2015, the total RF GaN market was close to US$300 million.
The report, ‘GaN RF Devices Market: Applications, Players, Technology, and Substrates 2016-2022’, suggests that sales will likely not be as high over the next two years but growth will continue, mainly driven by increased adoption of GaN technology in the wireless infrastructure and defence markets. A significant boost will occur around 2019–2020, led by the implementation of 5G networks.
“Market size will be multiplied by 2.5 by the end of 2022, posting a CAGR of 14% from 2016–2022,” explained Dr Hong Lin, technology & market analyst at Yole.
The wireless infrastructure and defence markets are the reason of this success: both market segments offer great opportunities for GaN technology. Wireless infrastructure, having surpassed defence, now represents more than half of GaN’s total market. According to Yole’s analysts, this positive evolution will continue growing fast at an expected 16% CAGR between 2016 and 2022.
“Though GaN was originally developed to support governmental military and space projects, mainstream commercial markets should fully embraced this novel technology as well,” commented Zhen Zong, technology & market analyst at Yole.
GaN’s increased implementation in base stations and wireless backhaul stems from the growing demand for data traffic and higher operating frequencies and bandwidths. In future network designs, new technologies like carrier aggregation and massive MIMO will actually put GaN in a superior position compared to existing LDMOS, the report speculates. GaN products have not yet covered the wireless infrastructure market’s full spectrum, and Yole says it sees more opportunities in the higher-frequency range. When looking at different players’ products, most GaN players offer similar products for base station applications ranging from 800 MHz–3.5 GHz.
In the meantime, defence remains another important market for GaN, and more and more new products and designs are benefiting from GaN’s superior performance and design simplification. Within its GaN RF devices report, Yole predicts a steadily growing penetration rate for GaN in defence market applications like IED jammers, military communications, radar, electronic warfare and more.
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