Global GaN RF Market Expected to Reach $2 Billion by 2025

In the past few years, Radio Frequency (RF) applications have received a boost from the implementation of GaN technology. The main GaN RF market drivers remain to be telecom and defense applications. According to a research report from Yole Development, the total GaN RF market will increase from $740 Million to more than $2 Billion by 2025, with a CAGR of 12%. This report conveys Yole Développement’s (Yole) understanding of GaN implementation in different market segments. It also includes an extensive overview of 5G’s impact on the wireless infrastructure and RF Front Ends (FEs), along with the GaN-based military market. Furthermore, Yole shares its view of the market’s current dynamics and future evolution.

In telecom infrastructure, the aftermath of U.S. sanctions related to Huawei slowed the GaN-based Remote Radio Head (RRH) market in 2019 and pushed OEMs to restructure their supply chain for the coming years. Nevertheless, GaN deployment will remain the same for the longterm. In Active Antenna Systems (AAS), the increase in bandwidth will favor increasing GaN implementation. Also, small cells and backhaul connections will see an impressive deployment of GaN in the coming years.

In military applications, with investments from governments to improve their national security by replacing Travelling Wave Tube (TWT)-based systems, the defense will remain one of the GaN RF market’s main drivers. Radar is the main driver in military applications, mainly due to the increase of T/R modules in new GaN-based Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) systems and stringent requirements for lightweight devices for airborne systems. The total GaN RF military market will surpass $1.1B in 2025, at a CAGR of 22%.

For handsets, GaN’s high performance and small form factor could attract OEMs. The adoption of a GaN PA will depend on the evolution over the next five years of GaN’s technology i.e. maturity, supply chain, and cost, as well as OEM strategies. 

How is the GaN RF Landscape Evolving?

GaN-based commercial products and prototypes currently exist on SiC, Si, and diamond substrates, showing different technological maturities and thus varying value chain maturity. Numerous actors are involved in the well-established GaN-on-Si technology field with different business models. However, following America’s sanctions related to Huawei in Q2/2019, a short supply situation occurred, mainly in the GaN-based telecom infrastructure market. As a result, it will be important to watch how various strategic partnerships and investments unfold during 2020 – 2021. At the RF component level, market leaders Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations (SEDI) and II-VI plan to ramp up their vertically integrated 6-inch GaN-on-SiC wafer platforms to address the increasing demand from 5G. Additionally, leading compound semiconductor foundry Win Semiconductors expects to double its GaN RF capacity during 2020 – 2021.

Regarding the military segment, each country and region is individually strengthening its GaN RF ecosystem. In the U.S., Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon are driving GaN adoption. Meanwhile, UMS, SAAB, Airbus, Thales, and Leonardo are actively involved in Europe, while China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), a leading vertically integrated company, is boosting the Chinese GaN-based defense market. In the GaN-on-Si business, while the MACOM-ST consortium’s 6” fabrication line development is ongoing, French foundry OMMIC is offering GaN-on- Si MMIC technology for mm-wave markets. And that’s not all: in 2019, following its acquisition of EpiGaN, Soitec is considering entry into the 5G infrastructure and handset market with its own innovative GaN-on-Si technology.

This report examines the GaN RF industry playground, covering the value chain for epitaxy, device, and module design on SiC, Si, and diamond substrates. Yole also shares its understanding of the market’s current dynamics and future evolution.

Objectives of the report

  • Overview of GaN RF markets: wireless infrastructure, handset, military, satellite communication, RF energy, wired broadband, civil radar, and avionics.
  • 2018 – 2024 market-size evolution and technology split.
  • Analysis of different players in different markets, along with their product ranges and technologies, for each substrate: Si, SiC, and diamond.
  • Summary of the main technologies in GaN devices on Si, SiC, and diamond substrates and packaging, in different application markets.
  • Explanation of the needs of different RF markets and the corresponding impact on the need for different technologies, along with geographic specifics.

Key features of the report

  • In-depth analysis of GaN’s penetration in different applications, including 4G LTE and 5G wireless infrastructure, handset, military, satellite communication, RF energy, wired broadband, civil radar, and avionics.
  • Analysis of different players in different markets, along with their product ranges and technologies for each substrate platform.
  • Outline of market access and market-size evolution from 2019 – 2025, and technology split.
  • Exploration of the main technologies in GaN devices on silicon, SiC, and diamond substrates, and packaging in the different application markets.

Click here to learn more about the report.