“Many RF power semiconductor manufacturers are on a quest to find markets unrelated to mobile wireless infrastructure,” notes
Some markets that use pulsed RF power devices, such as transportation safety and the military, are seeing good solid growth even in the midst of today’s economic downturn. These devices are used in radars for military, weather and marine applications, and in the current worldwide upgrade of the air traffic control system. There is also a market segment devoted to the avionics transponder and air navigation market, which is also lifted by the air traffic control upgrade.
Intrinsically less “optional” than many consumer markets, these segments are therefore less sensitive to economic upheavals than consumer-driven markets, although they are not totally immune to the macro economy.
Understanding this, many semiconductor manufacturers are attempting to enter this market; however, some factors may complicate their efforts. Pulsed RF power device markets are becoming very competitive technologically: gallium nitride and silicon carbide devices are vying for market share along with the more established silicon based technologies. And so many companies are rushing into these markets that there probably won’t be the market size to support them all. “Undoubtedly some consolidation will occur. While not guaranteed success, those companies that have a track record working with government agencies and defense contractors are going to have an advantage over those that are new entrants,” adds Wilson.
It forms part of the firm’s
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