Strategy Analytics: 5G millimeter wave transceivers and beamformers set to take off

Integration and Low Cost Favor CMOS

September 12, 2018

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In the Strategy Analytics report 5G mm-Wave Systems, RF Front-end Components & Process Tech Forecast 2018 – 2024, author Christopher Taylor predicts that the transceiver and beamforming components critical to 5G millimeter-wave systems will ship in the hundreds of millions of units per year within five years.

According to Mr. Taylor, “Each 5G millimeter wave smartphone, base station, and customer premise system will use multiple transceivers, beamformers and antenna elements for antenna gain, capacity and coverage. System makers will use a mix of compound semiconductors, SiGe-BiCMOS, and CMOS depending on emitted power required, link budget, and number of antenna elements in the system. Compound semiconductors and SiGe-BiCMOS have higher Fmax for better design margins and efficiency, but the lower cost and higher integration capabilities of CMOS will put it ahead in terms of number of RF components shipped per year for 5G millimeter wave.”

According to Eric Higham, Director of the Strategy Analytics Advanced Semiconductor Applications service, “Performance dictates that infrastructure will use more SiGe-BiCMOS for the RF than will user equipment, but much of this will eventually move to CMOS as well. Compound semiconductors will play a role in those mm-wave infrastructure systems where electrical efficiency and system power consumption are critical. Suppliers of RF chips for 5G mm-wave infrastructure systems using the different semiconductor process technologies include Anokiwave, Infineon, Qualcomm and Qorvo.”

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