Gallium Nitride (GaN) RF power semiconductor devices are gaining some serious ground in the mobile wireless infrastructure market, a recent report from ABI Research indicated.
According to the report, GaN RF power devices are expected to account for nearly a quarter of high-power semiconductors for mobile infrastructure in 2017, despite “a lackluster” year in 2016.
ABI noted RF power amplifiers are key elements of cellular base stations and other wireless infrastructure. These amplifiers, the firm explained, are one of the most pricey components for wireless infrastructure, making cost and performance key factors for both base station design and the success of RF power semiconductors themselves.
“Efficiency, physical size, linearity, and reliability are among the principal concerns,” ABI Research Director Lance Wilson commented. “As price pressures become fiercer, new and innovative techniques and materials must be used to reduce the cost of this important component part while still maintaining performance.”
In a recent article for Wireless Week, Qorvo’s Scott Vasquez pointed out that GaN is becoming an increasingly cost-effective material for wireless applications given its increased power density and efficiency, as well as thermal properties that allow it to provide higher reliability and operating temperatures.
Though once reserved for government defense applications, Vasquez said a change in packaging technology has helped pull GaN costs down, making high-power GaN power amplifiers more readily available.
ABI’s Wilson noted LTE advancement and early 5G builds will propel the market toward growth over the next five years. The Asia-Pacific region is expected to be behind revenue growth in the segment, ABI’s report indicated.
ABI Research’s full report can be found here.
Filed Under: Infrastructure