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7 May 2007


RFMD and Skyworks gain share in handset PAs: further consolidation likely

RF Micro Devices and Skyworks increased their combined share of the cellular terminal power amplifier (PA) market from an estimated 65% share in 2005 to 71% in 2006, reckons market research firm Strategy Analytics.

According to Chris Taylor, director of the Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Component service, “The move to multi-band, multi-mode EDGE and 3G handsets has accelerated the pace of product development for PA suppliers, who now have to have expertise in linearization and system optimization, RF switching, filters, power conditioning and packaging - as well as power amplification - to play in this market.”

Below the top two, TriQuint and Anadigics gained share, while most of the other players either maintained or lost ground. Asif Anwar, director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor service, adds that the market share growth of the top players came at the expense of several lower-share players, at least three of which withdrew from the PA market from late 2005 through 2006.

The PA vendor population has dropped from 24 suppliers in 2002 to about 16 in 2006. It appears likely that slim margins and the torrid pace of product development will force several more lower-share suppliers to strike deals with competitors or withdraw from the PA market entirely over the next two to three years, concludes Strategy Analytics.

See related item:

GaAs device market set to grow by 76% over next five years, driven by cellular handset and Wi-Fi demand