8 February 2011

Military and commercial aviation spending boosts markets for pulsed RF power semiconductors

Continuing strong demand from the military and commercial avionics sectors means that markets for pulsed RF power semiconductors should continue robust growth, according to the study ‘Pulsed RF Power Semiconductors’ from ABI Research. For example, the S-band radar device market (which is critical for both military and civilian aviation) is growing at more than 10% per annum.

“Some macro-economic analysts talk about declines in military spending, but our data suggests that military procurement of pulsed RF power semiconductors will continue at an almost undiminished rate,” says research director Lance Wilson. “Budgets for major weapons systems — very costly aircraft carriers or new fighter aircraft — may suffer, but when it comes to ‘bang for your buck’, military electronics are comparatively inexpensive,” he adds. “Electronic warfare and other forms of electronic communications are going to gain greater prominence. National defense and air safety are fairly immune to the vagaries of consumer markets, so while there may be pauses as military budgets are thrashed out, we expect that we’ll generally see increased spending.”

Civil aviation safety is also something that has to be addressed. Many existing air traffic control and safety systems are now 30 years old and nearing the end of their life-cycles. Upgrades to radar, improved transponders, and other steps to enhanced safety cannot be ignored. Also, commercial aviation is a worldwide market with many sources of demand, says ABI.

Meanwhile on the materials front, gallium nitride (GaN) technologies are continuing their slow but steady march into new radar and other systems, notes the market research firm.

See related items:

Military spending and GaN adoption driving RF power semiconductor markets

Tags: RF power semiconductors GaN

Visit: www.abiresearch.com

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