MACOM and ST to Expand GaN-on-Silicon Production Capacity for 5G Telecom Buildout

MACOM and STMicroelectronics have announced the expansion of 150mm GaN-on-Silicon production capacity in ST’s fabs. The expansion has been designed to service the worldwide 5G Telecom buildout. This builds upon the broad GaN-on-Silicon agreement between MACOM and ST announced in early 2018.

The global rollout of 5G networks and move to Massive MIMO (M-MIMO) antenna configurations is expected to create a substantial increase in the demand for RF Power products, as each antenna array will now have multiple amplifiers. Specifically, MACOM estimates there will be a 32X to 64X increase in the number of Power Amplifiers required. In turn, this is expected to more than triple dollar content over the course of a 5-year cycle of 5G infrastructure investment and thus drive an estimated 10X to 20X decrease in the cost per amplifier.

Major base station OEMs understand they need wide bandgap GaN performance with transformational cost structures and manufacturing capacity to meet 5G antenna cost, range and energy efficiency targets in the field. With this joint investment ST and MACOM aim to unlock the industry bottleneck and fulfill the demand for 5G buildouts. According to MACOM, they should be able to service up to 85% of the global 5G network buildout.

ST has built a strong foundation in Silicon Carbide and they are now looking to do the same with GaN-on-Silicon, which will enable OEMs to build a new generation of high-performance 5G networks. While Silicon Carbide is ideal for certain power applications such as automotive power conversion, GaN-on-Silicon provides the necessary RF performance, scale and commercial cost structures to make 5G a reality.

GaN on Si

MACOM

  • Country: United States
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