The telecommunications industry is now entering an exciting phase of development many refer to as the Internet of Everything (IoE), including Internet of Humans (IoH), Internet of Digital (IoD), and Internet of Sensors (IoS). The objective here is to bring more “smartness” to the way humans and machines communicate. In order for this vision to materialize, enabling technologies must be harmonized under a common paradigm so they can enable seamless experiences across various verticals. There are five key technologies upon which the IoE world is built, namely sensor networks, connectivity, processing, software platforms, actuation technologies, and big data and machine learning. Based on these building blocks, the Semiconductors sector looks at the strategic technology deployment across various verticals with unparalled technology granularity covering all WLAN and WWAN technologies and technology combinations, processing platforms including CPUs, MCUs, MPUs, DSPs, ISPs, heterogeneous computing, high performance computing, key sensor technologies, and sensor fusions targeting various use cases from motion sensing, environment sensing, optical, and image sensing, to acoustic sensing and biometric sensing.
New device technologies are starting to be fully ingrained in the RF high-power semiconductor marketplace. Foremost among these is GaN (Gallium Nitride). While being in a quasi-developmental stage for several years, production is now starting to ramp up and the future looks bright.
Designers of RF high-power amplifiers are always looking for greater efficiency and better high frequency performance. Until recently, silicon based technologies, such as Si LDMOS, held the top spots for under 4 GHz high-power operations. For applications above 4 GHz, GaAs had the bulk of this important semiconductor segment. GaAs; however, has severe power and voltage limitations. GaN promises to break that barrier for the microwave portion of the market and certain segments of the under 4GHz market as well. In the years to come GaN should keep marching up in the microwave segments at higher frequencies and higher power levels.
Needless to say, the GaN market is in its infancy and the business is dynamic and changing frequently. This short Market Data update looks at the current market TAM, major segments, and vendor rankings on a quarterly basis. While initially focused at those applications below 4 GHz, higher frequency revenues will be included as the technology and business performance progresses.
This Market Data package will be important for RF component manufacturers, RF Power amplifier and equipment manufacturers, defense industry participants, and others keeping an eye on the high-power RF markets.