The global RF (Radio Frequency) component market is expected to witness a strong CAGR of over 15% over the forecast period, which is primarily attributed to increased demand for smartphones. Favorable government regulations associated with the use of radio frequency in consumer electronics devices is expected to impact the market positively. Rising disposable income in the emerging nations such as India and Brazil have resulted in the adoption of electronic devices equipped with advanced connectivity features.
Radio Frequency refers to the radio signals that vary from 3 KHz to 300 GHz frequency. In the field of consumer electronics, radio frequency ranging between 10 MHz and 10 GHz is the area of interest. The components used in RF front communications in consumer electronics devices are mainly power amplifiers, receivers /transmitters, antenna switches, filters, duplexers, and demodulators.
The gradual roll-out of 4G LTE technology is expected to increase the demand for these components to efficiently receive radio signals. Growing penetration in other application sectors such as military, wireless communication and healthcare is also expected to accelerate the demand for these components.
Progressions in the field of wireless communication coupled with development in materials used for manufacturing radio frequency components such as Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) and Silicon Germanium (SiGe) is also expected to boost the industry growth. Enhancement in the existing wireless infrastructure to handle escalating data across mobile and fixed broadband networks is anticipated to impact the market favorably over the forecast period.
Increased need for providing a multimode and multiband support to the rising number of 3G and 4G devices is expected to impact the market favorably. Furthermore, regulatory scrutiny and rising safety level requirements have elevated the sales of semiconductors in the automotive industry. The automotive semiconductor market can be distinguished from the others by high reliability, secure design architecture, zero defect quality processes and long product life cycles. Efficient and advanced semiconductor systems are essential to fulfil the above-mentioned characteristics.
The radio frequency components market is segmented by modules, components, applications, and geography. By modules, it is segmented into six broad categories, namely RX module, antenna switch module, duplexer + PA module, TX module, multi duplexer module, and RX + duplexer module.
On the basis of its components, it is segmented into power amplifiers, duplexers, RF filter (RX/TX FILTERS), antenna switches, and demodulators. The power amplifiers segment is expected to witness substantial growth, which can be attributed to the integration of these components to provide support to the increasing popularity of mixed mode high-end devices.
By applications, it is segmented into automotive, cellular tablets & notebooks, phones, Smart TVs, and Set Top Box. The car industry is anticipated to witness rapid growth owing to increasing demand for connectivity features such as location tracker, Bluetooth, navigation system, central locking and music system in vehicles. Growing prominence of automation solutions for cars is also expected to spur the demand.
North American market is expected to emerge as the leading regional segment, on account of the presence of early technology adopters and well-established telecommunication sector in the region.
Developed economies such as Japan and the U.S have aided this technology with a reformed architecture of communication devices while developing nations such as Brazil, China, India and South Africa have launched these technologies in recent times. Asia Pacific is expected to witness significant growth over the forecast period owing to rising consumer disposable income and growing population leading to increased adoption of consumer electronic products. Increased demand for improved mobility and connectivity solutions is presumed to augment regional demand.
The market is characterized by a series of mergers and acquisitions activity. In January 2015, RF Micro Devices and TriQuint Semiconductor announced their complete merger to form Qorvo, which provides RF solutions globally.
In October 2015, Skyworks announced the acquisition of PMC-Sierra, a semiconductor and software solutions provider in storage, optical and mobile networks. The objective behind this was to expand the product portfolio, customer base, and end market applications.
Some of the leading players in the radio frequency components market include TriQuint Semiconductors, Murata Manufacturing, RDA Microelectronics, Skyworks Inc., RF Micro Devices, and AVAGO Technologies.
Other companies include Epcos, Aixtron SE, Freescale Semiconductor Inc., International Quantum Epitaxy Plc, Avago Technologies Limited, Fujitsu Limited, Renesas Electronics Corporation, NXP Semiconductors, RF Axis and RF Micro Devices Inc., Texas Instruments Inc., Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, and STMicroelectronics.
Research Support Specialist, USA