24 June 2010


GaN and SiGe to eat into GaAs MMIC markets

According to Engalco Research’s new report ‘MMICs2’ updating its first report on the monolithic microwave integrated circuit market (released in summer 2008) to 2015, gallium arsenide (GaAs) MMICs will remain important, but MMICs based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon-germanium (SiGe) will progressively invade the market, which includes applications such as low-noise amplifiers (LNAs), ow-noise block converters (LNBs), mixers, switches, power amplifers (PAs), transmitters (Tx), receivers (Rx) and transmit–receive blocks (TxRx).

The use of GaN MMICs for high-power/high-efficiency RF amplification is becoming well known, but application is also being extended to other functions in RF modules, notes Engalco. Meanwhile, SiGe-based MMICs are already being implemented in low-power signal processing roles, mainly in receivers and switches.

Although the overall MMIC market worldwide is forecasted to reach $6.26bn in 2015, this continues to be dominated by the commodity markets of cell phones (more than $3bn) and both intelligent cruise control and mobile WiMAX ($1.2bn each).

The remaining market segments of defense, ISM (industrial, scientific & medical), microwave radio, millimeter-wave radio, SATCOM and SATNAV all comprise much lower market shares.

Of these, microwave radio will account for about $280m in 2015, while millimeter-wave radio will exhibit exceptionally high (double-digit) growth to $420m, forecasts Engalco, with the latter driven by the exploding capacity requirements of multi-Gigabit links.

In the defense segment, North America (principally the USA) will continue to lead, but both Europe and Asia (in particular) are becoming increasingly important, notes Engalco.

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