Cellular communications systems and devices continue to expand in terms of numbers of users. As they do, they drive the need for semi-insulating (SI) gallium arsenide (GaAs) epitaxial wafers and the devices formed on those materials, including heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs) and pseudomorphic high-electron-mobility transistors (pHEMTs). According to a report from Strategy Analytics, "Markets for SI GaAs Epitaxial Substrates: 2009-2014," healthy growth in the GaAs market should continue through 2014. The study projects a compound average annual growth rate (CAAGR) of 10 percent through 2014 for a market that should approach $530 million annually.
Cellular infrastructure and handsets will spark the demand for more GaAs, according to Asif Anwar of Strategy Analytics: "The interim slowdown did not result in any major paradigm shift in cellular handset radio technology with GaAs HBTs and pHEMTs central to next-generation platforms." He added, "trends in the smart phone category in particular are playing out to our previous predictions, with multimode, multiband terminals driving up HBT and pHEMT content and the subsequent demand for SI GaAs epitaxial substrates." The report notes that the most aggressive growth will be enjoyed by Taiwanese materials suppliers.