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18 July 2008


Silicon to displace GaAs in automotive radar from 2013

Demand for RF millimeter-wave components for automotive radar will grow at a compound average annual growth rate (CAAGR) of 44% through 2012, forecasts Strategy Analytics in a new report ‘Automotive radar: GaAs vs. SiGe 2007-2012’. While gallium arsenide technology will still be in a dominant position at that point, all the major tier-one automotive systems companies are looking to silicon technologies for their next-generation radar platforms, says the market research firm.

Over the 2009-2012 timeframe, GaAs technology will be supplanted by CMOS and SiGe technologies (growing at a CAAGR of 127%) for use in both long-range and short-range automotive radar systems, reckons Strategy Analytics. “Nearly all the major radar manufacturers are hoping to use SiGe in their ‘next generation’ of system designs,” notes Asif Anwar, director of Strategy Analytics GaAs service. “In modeling the competitive threat from silicon technologies, we have factored in increasing silicon technology penetration from 2009 onwards, in line with current product design cycles,” he adds.

“It is not a case of a gradually increasing penetration however, but a series of discreet step increases aligned around 3-4 year product design cycles,” reckons Anwar. “We’ll see 20-40% penetration [of CMOS and SiGe in automotive radar systems] over the 2009-2012 timeframe, and then another potential shift beginning in 2013.” Silicon technologies will potentially dominate the market from 2013 onwards, he concludes.

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