RF GaN Market Set to Reach US$3 Billion by 2028, Led by SEDI, Qorvo, Wolfspeed, and NXP

RF GaN Market Set to Reach US$3 Billion by 2028, Led by SEDI, Qorvo, Wolfspeed, and NXP

RF GaN leaders, including SEDI, Qorvo, Wolfspeed, and NXP, are driving the RF GaN device market towards a projected worth of nearly US$3 billion by 2028, according to a recent report by Yole Intelligence. The market, valued at US$1.3 billion in 2022, is expected to experience a 12% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2022 and 2028.

SEDI, Qorvo, and Wolfspeed have demonstrated steady growth as the top three device players, while NXP has been generating substantial revenue from the telecom sector. The telecom industry presents a new opportunity for RF GaN-on-Si technology, particularly in telecom infrastructure, where GaN has showcased its advantages in high-power and high-frequency performance. With the deployment of massive MIMO (Multiple-input, Multiple-Output) and the transition from remote radio heads (RRH) to active antenna systems (AAS), the demand for power amplifier (PA) units per base station has increased. GaN's superior power-added efficiency (PAE) and broad-band capability above 3 GHz make it well-suited for this growth. By 2028, the GaN-based telecom infrastructure device market is projected to account for nearly 45% of the total RF GaN market.

The defense segment remains a key driver for GaN RF, with GaN-on-SiC serving as the primary platform for demanding applications in defense radar, electronic warfare, and defense communication systems.

Yole Intelligence's report provides insights into the RF GaN market, segment players, product offerings, and technologies. The analysis covers market dynamics, technology requirements across different RF markets, and geographical considerations.

According to Aymen Ghorbel, a Technology and Market Analyst at Yole Intelligence, GaN-on-SiC currently dominates the RF GaN landscape due to a well-developed supply chain. Ghorbel also highlights the preference for integrated device manufacturers (IDMs) as the preferred business model, enabling them to leverage existing customer channels in the telecom and defense markets.

As of 2022, SEDI, Qorvo, and Wolfspeed emerged as the leading players in the RF GaN device market, while NXP made significant strides by entering the telecom supply chain. The S.I. SiC wafer market is shared among major suppliers such as Wolfspeed, Coherent, and SICC. In the defense sector, GaN adoption is led by companies like Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, and the Chinese CETC. Trusted by the US Department of Defense (DoD), Wolfspeed and Qorvo also serve as GaN foundries. Ericsson and Nokia continue to develop the supply of RF GaN devices from multiple suppliers for the telecom market, while Samsung collaborates closely with Korean device players. Following US sanctions, Huawei and ZTE have turned to the Chinese supply chain to build domestic capabilities.

Poshun Chiu, a Senior Technology and Market Analyst at Yole Intelligence, expects GaN-on-Si technology to gain traction in the market from late 2023 onward, particularly in telecom small cells with power amplifiers below 10 W. While GaN-on-Si offers efficiency and wide bandwidth, it may take longer to penetrate the handset systems market due to design complexities.

Looking ahead, as technology nodes evolve, RF device players are targeting platforms for Ku/K/Ka bands, exploring sub-0.1µm nodes for sub-terahertz frequencies, and considering potential applications in the future 6G market. The emerging GaN-on-Si platform aims to cater to sub-6 GHz small cells, leveraging efficiency and wide bandwidth at lower power levels. However, the adoption of GaN-on-Si in handset systems is expected to be a longer-term goal due to design considerations.

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Publisher: everything RF