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19 December 2006


GaAs defense market to grow at 9% to 2010 before shift to GaN

The market for GaAs devices for defense applications will see continued growth at a compound average annual growth rate (CAAGR) of 8% through to 2010, forecasts the report ‘Defense Spending Increases Provide Robust Market for Compound Semiconductors’ from Strategy Analytics’ GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies service.

GaAs remains a staple ingredient in military and defense systems covering radar, communications, electronic warfare and smart munitions. The value of defense contracts awarded in 2006 for these applications will exceed $16bn, with projects extending through 2015.

“We believe GaAs device demand from the defense sector will increase year-on-year by 9% in 2006 and continue to grow through to 2010,” notes Asif Anwar, director of Strategy Analytics’ GaAs Service. However, year-on-year growth for GaAs devices will start to slow from 2009 onwards as future trends towards wider bandwidth, higher frequency and higher power favor emerging technologies such as GaN, which will start to be designed into next-generation defense systems. “We believe that the growing power and frequency requirements of defense systems will favor GaN over GaAs as the optimum technology, and therefore predict that GaN will begin to be the underlying technology for military defense systems from 2010 onwards."

“The upside for GaAs device manufacturers also working on GaN is that the high-power, high-frequency capabilities of GaN should allow them to compete in areas that have traditionally been dominated by vacuum tube technology,” says Stephen Entwistle, VP of the Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice. “GaN will therefore provide an additional revenue stream, rather than simply offering a means for replacing lost revenues due to GaAs displacement.”