13 September 2010


GaAs device market to grow at 5% annually from $3.7bn in 2009 to $4.7bn in 2014

Despite the recession and macroeconomic trends still being in flux at the end of last year, the gallium arsenide device market staged a strong recovery toward the end of a tumultuous 2009 as a result of positive trends in wireless markets, according to the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies (GaAs) service report ‘GaAs Industry Forecast 2009-2014’. A strong performance in the second half of the year meant that GaAs industry revenue managed to escape a drop for full-year 2009, remaining flat year-on-year at $3.7bn.

Although it will see increased competition from silicon technologies in other end markets, GaAs technology will maintain its position as the enabling technology for next-generation cellular handsets, the market research firm reckons. In particular, the smartphone category of the handset market provided a vital lifeline in 2009, boasting stronger-than-average annual growth in terminal volumes. With an increasing average number of GaAs power amplifiers per terminal as well as increasing switch complexity in this sector, GaAs device demand from next-generation handsets will grow faster than overall industry revenue growth.

“Our analysis incorporates individual wireless, consumer, infrastructure and defense market forecasts—taking into account technology trends,” notes Asif Anwar at Strategy Analytics. “There is no question that the improving capabilities of silicon and silicon germanium (SiGe) technologies, as well as emerging technologies such as gallium nitride (GaN), will provide increasing competition for GaAs technologies,“ he adds. “Despite this competition, GaAs device demand will continue to see continued growth through 2014.“ The market should grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5% to be more than $4.7bn, concludes Anwar.

The corresponding market for GaAs wafers (bulk and epitaxial substrates) should be worth $747m by 2014, the firm reckons.

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