Is the party over for RF Power Semiconductor?

August 12, 2016

The RF power semiconductor devices market has been in decline for sometime and there seems to be no reason to think that the trend will improve in the long or short term.

There is now very little activity in new cellular/3G base station deployment, and as a direct result the market for RF power semiconductor devices will decline simply though lack of new deployment possibilities.

Lance Wilson from ABI Research believes that cellular/3G base station RF power semiconductor devices will show a clear slide over the next five years because its biggest use is in wireless infrastructure and its child cellular/3G.

Wilson sees a decline that will compound itself at around 8% per year until it reaches a point where it is no longer viable, possibly as early as 2012.

The average sale price is combining with more efficient air interfaces and the build-out of the infrastructure base to reduce sales opportunities.

There are some segments that he sees as having a future.

Those that sit below 4 GHz have several other segments that will have a growth rate of somewhere just below 10% per year.

These are military, ISM (industrial/scientific/medical), broadcast, commercial avionics, and non-cellular communications.

These losses and gains, added together, will result in a rate of growth of less than 3% over the next five years.

Other analysts consider that WiMAX will save the day, but Wilson is sceptical, saying the WiMAX has uncertainties from the point of view of the high-power RF device.

He states that there is a potential but it is by no means a done deal.


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