The Top 5 Vendors in the GaN RF Devices Market

Technavio has published a report on global GaN radio frequency (RF) devices which lists the prominent vendors that are expected to impact the market during the forecast period up to 2020. The global GaN RF devices market in 2015 was valued at USD 295.6 million and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.94% to reach USD 703.4 million by 2020.

According to the report GaN-on-SiC is currently used in more than 95% of commercial devices using GaN technology. It has matured faster than GaN-on-Si and is preferred for most GaN RF implementations requiring higher performance with cost not being a factor. Companies such as Qorvo and GaN Systems are using GaN-on-Sic for their latest developments in designs and products. However, MACOM has opted for the blue ocean strategy and is pushing the development of GaN-on-Si products by announcing the launch of its Gen4 GaN-on-Si offering for base stations, with GaN-on-Si devices being as cheap as LDMOS devices.

As for packaging of GaN RF devices, the military OEMs such as BAE, Northrop Grumman, and Raytheon are comfortable with the bare die. The US military has already deployed GaN-based RF devices for EW applications such as anti-improvised explosive devices (IED) systems. On the other hand, commercial vendors have to package their devices, incurring additional costs. This has limited GaN’s increased implementation in base stations and wireless backhaul stems. Therefore, the global telecommunications industry is still limited by poor bandwidths unable to cope with the growing demand for data traffic and higher operating frequencies. However, future network designs for upcoming technologies such as carrier aggregation and massive MIMO will put GaN in a superior position in comparison to the existing LDMOS.

The Top five GaN RF devices market vendors:

GAN Systems

GAN Systems is a manufacturer of GaN high-power switching transistors and diodes. The company has a transportable fabless model and incorporates GaN into the design. They develop GaN power-switching transistors and caters to enterprise, consumer, solar, wind, and smart grid power conversion requirements.

Infineon Technologies

The company offers a wide range of semiconductor products for the communications, automotive, and memory markets. The company operates through 50 subsidiaries across EMEA, APAC, and the Americas. It caters to the automation, data processing, electro mobility, industrial, chip card and security, consumer, solar energy systems, wind energy systems, automotive, lighting, medical, motorcycles, e-bikes and small e-vehicles, mobile devices, power supplies, motor control & drives, and smart grid sectors.

NXP Semiconductor

NXP Semiconductors provides a high-performance mixed signal along with standard product solutions that leverage its RF, power management, analog, interface, digital processing, and security expertise. Through its wide product portfolio, the company caters automotive, identification, wireless infrastructure, lighting, industrial, mobile, consumer, and computing applications. The company completed its merger with Freescale Semiconductor in December 2015.

Qorvo

RFMD and TriQuint merged in early 2015 and named the merged entity Qorvo. The company provides core technologies and radio frequency solutions for mobile, infrastructure, and aerospace and defense applications. It operates design, sales, and manufacturing centers throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. The company provides its products to the OEMs and ODMs worldwide. The merging company RFMD was the first to introduce the 6-inch GaN-on-SiC wafers for RF power transistors. The company recently launched the QPA2705, an integrated GaN driver, and GaN Doherty power amplifier in conjunction with NanoSemi, a leading developer of digital linearization and compensation algorithms. These devices are ideal power amplifiers for wireless infrastructure improvement.

Wolfspeed (Cree)

Wolfspeed is a leading innovator in the silicon carbide and gallium nitride arena. The company also assisted in the commercialization of GaN technology, allowing designers to invent powerful, energy-efficient wireless systems. Its products offer a wide bandgap and are ideal for power and RF applications in the industrial, transportation, energy, and communications markets. The company's devices are known for high levels of performance through increased efficiency, reduce system size, and higher switching frequency. The company achieved a milestone at the end of 2015 when it shipped GaN-on-SiC RF power transistors with a combined RF power output of 1.3 gigawatts.