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Silicon Semiconductor Market Remains Steady
Dec 10, 2003
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The overall market for GaAs and silicon-based power semiconductors will remain relatively flat over the next 5 years, staying at an estimated U.S. $2 billion, according to market research firm ABI.

According to the firm's the forecast, the market will rise slightly at 2 percent, compounded annually, over the next 5 years, as growth is limited due to the market's dependence on the ailing cellular industry.

For year-end 2003, ABI anticipates that cellular applications will comprise 64 percent of the overall market for GaAs and silicon power semiconductors. Currently this is split almost evenly between handsets and infrastructure, though over time, the cellular industry will gradually represent a diminishing share of the overall market.

"By 2008, cellular handsets and infrastructure will represent about 50 percent of the broader market for RF power devices," said Edward Rerisi, ABI's director of research. "Niche applications -- including Wi-Fi, satellite, and military applications -- will help buoy the overall market as the cellular segment decreases. However, their combined impact will not boost the market sufficiently enough to reestablish robust industry growth."

In 2008, ABI anticipates 55 percent of the market to be GaAs and 45 percent to be silicon-based, despite new GaN-based transistor developments. Several companies are said to be developing solutions with better visibility on the materials‚ to be released in the next 18 months. By this time, GaN devices from Fujitsu, RF Micro Devices, and Nitronex will have had testing to determine their commercial viability, ABI said.

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