Friday, June 24, 2011

High Capacity MM-Wave Coms: A Mid-Year Checkup

Wireless Technology Expert Jonathan Wells reports that at mid-2011 the high capacity wireless market segment continues to grow in strength. All the carriers are now advertising 4G networks and claiming super-fast download speeds. High-capacity gigabit wireless products are being deployed in both the microwave and mm-wave frequency bands to address the backhaul demands of these networks.

Over 1 million microwave radios in 2010
Although 2010 saw a drop in overall PTP radio shipments, high capacity solutions remains the shining sector. EJL Wireless reports that of the almost 1.1 million PTP radios shipped last year, 75% of them are in the high capacity product segment. Leading high capacity vendors such as Aviat Networks, Ceragon and Dragonwave all have microwave products that can now deliver almost 1 Gbps true data throughput in the regulated microwave channels.

$500+ million mm-wave market
The 60 GHz and 70/80GHz bands, which permits multi-gigabit transmission, remains the fastest growing market segment. EJL Wireless forecast radio shipments in this sector grew 67% in 2010. Leaders BridgeWave announced earlier this year that they have shipped their 10,000th mm-wave system, and have released a novel 60 GHz product for picocell backhaul. Visant Strategies have forecast that revenue from 60 GHz and 70/80 GHz PTP radios will reach over $500 million in 2016, citing growth from 4G base stations driving Gbps speed requirements in dense urban areas. Infonetics Research has published a more bullish prediction; that 70/80 GHz PTP equipment will grow to over $450 million by 2014.

For More Information
To better understand the high capacity microwave and mm-wave product landscape and the wider wireless technology implications, see his new book on “Multi-Gigabit Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Wireless Communications”. For more information, or to purchase a discounted copy of this book, click here …

Jonathan Wells, Ph.D. M.B.A.
President, AJIS LLC
Wireless Technology Consulting



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service (GaAs) Viewpoint

Strategy Analytics reported that recent financial reports from companies in the microelectronics portion of the compound semiconductor industry indicate continued sharp revenue growth. The Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service (GaAs) viewpoint, “Compound Semiconductor Industry Review April 2011: Microelectronics,” reports the latest revenue results for leading companies in the microelectronics segment of the compound semiconductor industry, such as RFMD, Skyworks Solutions, Fairchild, Fujitsu, Hittite Microwave, TriQuint Semiconductor, Soitech and WIN Semiconductors.

"The strong revenue reports which Strategy Analytics saw in April show continued compound semiconductor market expansion,” noted Eric Higham, Director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor Technologies Service. “Growth in this industry is broadly-based as both gallium arsenide (GaAs) and silicon manufacturers are showing strong year-on-year revenue gains.”

Asif Anwar, Director, Strategy Analytics Strategic Technologies Practice added, “Increasing data consumption is driving development in consumer electronics and networks.” This viewpoint summarizes April 2011 financial, product, contract and employment developments from major GaAs and silicon suppliers, addressing a variety of commercial and military applications that require gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium nitride (GaN), Silicon carbide (SiC) and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technologies.

Eric Higham gave us some exclusive addition information. He added the following:

In our “Compound Semiconductor Industry Review April 2011: Microelectronics” report, we captured the latest quarterly revenue reports from several of the largest compound semiconductor device manufacturers. A few trends were notable. Most of the year-on-year revenue comparisons were positive and substantial, with GaAs manufacturers Hittite and TriQuint reporting 24% growth, Skyworks reporting 37% growth and Silicon manufacturer Microsemi leading them all with 73% quarterly revenue growth. This is important because it shows the growth is broadly based, with both Silicon and GaAs suppliers demonstrating strong results. It is important to note that 2010 was a banner year for the compound semiconductor industry. Strategy Analytics believes revenue in the industry grew by 35% in 2010, so strong quarterly revenue gains in 2011 indicate continued strength in the compound semiconductor industry.

There is a cautionary note, however, and this is the second notable trend. Two of the leading GaAs suppliers in the industry, RFMD and ANADIGICS both saw year-on-year declines in quarterly revenue. Both companies attribute this to challenges at major handset customers. Previous reports from Strategy Analytics have captured how diligently compound semiconductor companies have been working to develop products for a variety of other market applications. This is certainly the case at RFMD and ANADIGICS, but it underscores how important the handset market segment is to the overall compound semiconductor industry.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Uplink and Downlink to Follow Two Different Technology Directions

A new report released today by Mobile Experts predicts an industry shift away from the 3GPP roadmap, which calls for evolution to 8x8 MIMO (Multiple Input-Multiple Output) technology.

“Field testing has shown limited benefit from the simple addition of more antennas and early implementation of Multi-User MIMO” said Joe Madden, Principal Analyst at Mobile Experts. “Instead of blindly following the 3GPP evolution path, mobile operators are looking for different, creative ways to boost throughput and capacity. Interference cancellation and Cooperative Multipoint (CoMP), as well as advanced MU-MIMO will be important technologies during the next few years”.

“Mobile Experts is the only analyst firm that focuses on the radio chain for both infrastructure and device markets. In the case of MIMO, it is critical to examine concerns of suppliers of a huge variety of equipment, ranging from base stations and femtocells to smartphones, tablets, and PC modems. In particular, the concerns of device suppliers regarding size, battery life, and cost are crucial in the technology choices for the 2014-2016 timeframe”.

The new report, MIMO Adoption in Mobile Communications, can be found at, and provides:

* A broad overview of the market drivers which are pushing mobile operators toward new architectures;
* Technical analysis and block diagrams for devices and infrastructure;
* Insightful analysis of:
* Infrastructure in the macro layer, including macrocells, microcells and picocells;
* Femtocell adoption of MIMO antenna techniques;
* Expected architectures for DAS, repeaters, and relays;
* Device migration from Tx and Rx diversity to higher order MIMO
* Cost vs. Benefit analysis of MIMO in:
* Handsets and other devices;
* Base stations using Remote Radio Heads (RRH)
* Forecast spreadsheets predict market size and segmentation through 2016:
* By device type (PC embedded modems, tablets, smartphones, feature phones);
* By infrastructure type (Macrocell, microcell, picocell, femtocell, DAS, repeater, relay);
* By uplink vs. downlink;
* By MIMO type (SISO, SIMO, 2x2, 4x2, 4x4, etc.);
* Predictions of alternatives to MIMO are presented.

About Mobile Experts LLC:
Mobile Experts provides insightful market analysis for the mobile infrastructure and mobile handset markets. Research topics center on technology introduction for radio frequency (RF) and communications innovation. Recent publications focus on Multi-Standard Radio Base Stations, Semiconductors for Remote Radio Heads, Outdoor DAS, In-Building Wireless, and Small Cells and HetNets.