Engalco-research has recently released a report on the markets for millimeter-wave MMICs. For the purposes of this report the millimeter-wave bands are defined as V-band (57-64 GHz), lower E-band (71-76 GHz) and upper E-band (81-86 GHz). For these three frequency bands market data are presented for both GaAs and SiGe-based MMICs. Details are also provided for the market applicable to SiGe-based MMICs into adaptive cruise control (ACC) systems (W-band, specifically 77-79 GHz).
Each class of MMIC includes all functional types. GaAs MMICs tend to be less complex and sophisticated than SiGe-based MMICs. Typical GaAs-based MMICs include: LNAs, mixers and RFPAs. SiGe-based MMICs are increasingly available as complete transceiver chip-sets. The transistor technology for GaAs MMICs is mainly pHEMT, whereas the transistor technology for SiGe MMICs is mainly BiCMOS. On the supply side a total of 24 players are identified, globally based.
For ACC the focus is entirely on SiGe-based 77 GHz radars. Market values remain healthy although with a slow decline over the forecast period (to year 2020). This decline is entirely due to unit price erosion.
Considering all frequency bands and both types of mm-wave MMICs (GaAs and SiGe) the market values for these types of products into mm-wave communications links increase more than eight-fold over the forecast period. By year 2020 the overall total market value (including ACC) exceeds $1.5B.
For V-band GaAs MMICs the market in Europe always remains relatively small and decline slowly but steadily over the forecast period. Contrastingly the market in North America and the Rest of the World (RoW) remains relatively buoyant until the later years when SiGe MMIC market penetration becomes more aggressive. Over the lower E-band the market for GaAs-based MMICs holds up reasonably well until year 2018. After that year the market values for SiGe-based MMICs accelerate substantially. For the upper-E-band (81-86 GHz) the markets for GaAs MMICs hold up relatively well over the forecast period. The “threat” from SiGe-based MMICs increases although for this band the markets for SiGe-based MMICs remain much lower than those for GaAs MMICs.