April 10, 2006 – Soaring demand for increasingly complex mobile phone handsets and radio-frequency applications will mean big growth for the gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrate market, with sales seen topping $600 million by 2010, according to a new report from Strategy Analytics Inc., Boston, MA.
Demand for GaAs bulk and epitaxial substrates will grow by 30%-40% over 2006 and 2007, and effectively double by 2008, the firm indicates in a new study, “GaAs Industry Forecast: 2005-2010.” Demand for handsets is seen growing 15% this year and exceeding 1 billion units by the end of 2007, due to the emergence of complex multimode, multiband architectures that increase the number and size of heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) and pseudomorphic high-electron mobility transistor (pHEMT) die going into frontend modules.
“The increasing complexity of RF front-end module architectures will lead to a significant increase in the overall GaAs real estate in cellular handset front-end modules. This will result in volume demand for substrates growing by over 150% from 2005 to 2010,” stated Asif Anwar, director of the firm’s GaAs and compound semiconductor technologies service.
Stephen Entwistle, VP of Strategy Analytics’ strategic technologies practice, added that fab utilization will approach 100% for the next two or three years, so substrate suppliers need to make necessary investments to increase their output to match demand, or risk losing market share.