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World handset radio frequency semiconductor markets poised for robust growth

13 February 2002 News

The current synchronised global economic downturn and the consequent softening in demand for wireless handsets has resulted in significant contraction in the handset RF semiconductor market during 2001. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan has revealed that this market is expected to generate revenues totalling $4,98 bn for the full year 2001. As the economy recovers, the market is expected to quickly overcome the short-term effects of economic downturns and rapidly climb through 2005.

According to the research group, despite the enormous potential of the RF-semiconductor market, participants must focus on Next-Generation (2,5G and 3G) technology to realise gains over the long term. As service providers prepare to upgrade their existing networks and install new networks to provide voice, data, and video services, semiconductor manufacturers must address the challenges of these technologies.

"Although ideal for today's Second-Generation (2G) system, current semiconductor solutions cannot efficiently support the requirements for 2,5G and 3G systems," says Frost & Sullivan Industry Analyst Veerender Kaul. "Radio frequency semiconductor suppliers must produce significant performance upgrades to deliver the aggressive form-factor shrink, ultra-low-power consumption, and high-speed signal processing required by Next-Generation standards."

The need for handsets to support multiple air-interface standards, and the integration of global positioning system and Bluetooth functionality into handsets, will spur semiconductor firms to devote substantial resources to research and development.

"Semiconductor suppliers that can provide hardware, software, development tools, and customer support are the ones best positioned to capitalise on the market potential," says Kaul. "This does not mean that suppliers of individual parts will be left out of the marketplace. Through strategic partnerships, these suppliers will contribute to the total solutions packaging trend."

Frost & Sullivan presents the Marketing Engineering Awards to companies that have worked diligently to make a positive contribution to the handset RF semiconductor industry. For 2001 these market-specific awards were presented to: EPCOS, Infineon Technologies, Qualcomm, RF Micro Devices, and Silicon Laboratories.

For further information contact Julia Rowell, jrowell@frost.com





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