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13 July 2009


Consumer broadband demand driving GaAs growth for satcom/VSAT

Long design cycles and pent-up demand driven by the consumer sector will allow the VSAT (very small aperture terminals) market to weather the current economic storm better than most communications markets, translating into steady demand for gallium arsenide devices, concludes the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies (GaAs) service report ‘GaAs Device Opportunities from the Satcom/VSAT Market: 2008-2013’.

GaAs technology is used extensively in VSAT satellite communications systems for both the space and ground segments of the market. Consequently, GaAs device demand will grow at a compound annual average growth rate (CAAGR) of more than 4% from 2008 to 2013, forecasts Strategy Analytics. Monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) will dominate the volume and represent 57% of total GaAs revenues in the sector.

“The VSAT industry has had to learn some tough lessons over the past decade, but the result is a model focused on value-added services which is now being augmented by growth prospects in the broadband access arena,” notes Asif Anwar. “Advances in technology and economies of scale have combined to increase data rates while simultaneously reducing prices, opening up the opportunities for satellite communications to compete against other wireless and wired broadband technologies. We believe the demand for broadband services will fuel the rollout of VSAT systems through 2013, creating steady demand for GaAs semiconductors”, he adds. “The largest opportunities are for Ku- and Ka-band power amplifiers where, despite some threats from alternative technologies, GaAs will remain the dominant solution.”

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