5G to Drive Growth in the Cellular RF Power Amplifier Market

According to a new market forecast by Strategy Analytics, 5G will lead to the resurrection of the growth seen in the RF power amplifiers (PA) market. After a lack-luster three years, Power Amplifiers will once again see an increase in demand in phones and other cellular user equipment.

The power amplifier module is now the cornerstone for integration and attempts to reduce the parts count in the RF front end, and with new sub-6 bands for 5G, license shared access, uplink carrier aggregation, and uplink MIMO just around the corner, PA modules will continue to increase in complexity, putting pressure on companies like Skyworks, Broadcom, Qorvo, Murata, Qualcomm and their supply partners to reduce production costs.

Based on the architectures of 2G, 3G, LTE and early 5G devices, the report, "5G Will Boost PA Market but Challenge Supplier Pricing", looks at the recent market and provides a forecast to 2023 for market revenue and unit shipments of PAs including discrete PA modules, PA-duplexers, S-PADs, PAMiDs, and TRMs (total radio modules).

According to Christopher Taylor, Director of RF & Wireless Components and author of the report, with 5G, the contents of PA modules will increase to encompass more bands, with more RF switching, filtering and power amplification elements. As the market evolves, the more complex PA modules will move from flagship smartphones to mid- and low-tier devices, as they have in the past.

According to Stephen Entwistle, VP of Strategic Technologies at Strategy Analytics, having to put almost the entire RF front end covering multiple bands and technologies into a few PA modules has forced most of the smaller PA suppliers out of the market. The pressure will increase with 5G, likely favoring the top four suppliers with the scale and R&D budgets to keep up with OEM’s demands.

Click here to get access to the report.