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27 March 2019

5G to boost cellular RF power amplifier market

After a lack-luster past three years, 5G will lead to a return to growth in the power amplifier (PA) market, forecasts Strategy Analytics in a new report covering RF PAs in phones and other cellular user equipment. However, suppliers should expect intense pricing pressure, according to the Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Components report.

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-6GHz bands for 5G, license shared access, uplink carrier aggregation and uplink MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) just around the corner - PA modules will continue to increase in complexity, putting pressure on Skyworks, Broadcom, Qorvo, Murata, Qualcomm and their supply partners to reduce production costs, says Strategy Analytics.

Based on the architectures of 2G, 3G, LTE and early 5G devices, the report 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 (switches, PAs and duplexers), PAMiDs (power amplifier modules with integrated duplexers) and TRMs (total radio modules).

“With 5G, the contents of PA modules will increase to encompass more bands, with more RF switching, filtering and power amplification elements,” says report author Christopher Taylor, director of RF & Wireless Components. 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,” he adds.

“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,” notes Stephen Entwistle, VP of Strategic Technologies at Strategy Analytics. “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.”

Tags: power amplifier

Visit:  www.strategyanalytics.com

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