“Many RF power semiconductor manufacturers are on a quest to find markets unrelated to mobile wireless infrastructure,” notes ABI Research director Lance Wilson. “Device prices in wireless infrastructure are falling, and the total available market is shrinking.”
Some markets that use pulsed RF power devices, such as the transportation safety market and the military market, are seeing good solid growth even in the midst of today’s economic downturn. These devices are used in radars for military and marine applications, and in a worldwide upgrade of the air traffic control system that is now occurring. There is also a market segment devoted to the avionics transponder and air navigation market, which is also lifted by the air traffic control upgrade.
Intrinsically less “optional” than many consumer markets, these segments are therefore less sensitive to economic upheavals than consumer-driven markets.
Understanding these factors, many semiconductor manufacturers are attempting to enter this market. However, some factors may complicate their efforts. Pulsed RF power device markets are becoming very competitive technologically: gallium nitride and silicon carbide devices are vying for market share along with the more established silicon based technologies. And so many companies are rushing into these markets that there probably won’t be the market size to support them all. Says Wilson, “Undoubtedly some consolidation will occur. While not guaranteed success, those companies that have a track record working with government agencies and defense contractors are going to have an advantage over those that are new entrants.”
A new ABI Research study, “ High Power RF Semiconductors for Pulsed Applications” ( http://www.abiresearch.com/products/market_research/Pulsed_RF_Power_Semiconductors) forecasts the worldwide market for devices that have greater than 5 watts of peak output power and frequencies of operation up to 3.8 GHz. It examines the avionics, L-Band, S-Band, and Sub-1 GHz radar markets, and contains forecasts through 2013.
It forms part of the firm’s RF Power Devices Research Service ( http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/RF_Power_Devices_Research_Service).
ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of emerging trends in global connectivity. From offices in North America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advise thousands of decision makers through research and advisory services in seven key practice areas. Est. 1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.
Christine Gallen, +1-516-624-2542