SCOTTSDALE, USA: Continuing strong demand from the military and commercial avionics sectors means that markets for pulsed RF power semiconductors should continue robust growth, according to the latest forecasts from ABI Research.
The S-Band radar device market, for example, which is critical for both military and civilian aviation, is growing at greater than 10 percent per annum.
Research director Lance Wilson notes: “Some macro-economic analysts talk about declines in military spending, but our data suggests that military procurement of pulsed RF power semiconductors will continue at an almost undiminished rate. Budgets for major weapons systems – very costly aircraft carriers or new fighter aircraft – may suffer, but when it comes to ‘bang for your buck’, military electronics are comparatively inexpensive.
“Electronic warfare and other forms of electronic communications are going to gain greater prominence. National defense and air safety are fairly immune to the vagaries of consumer markets, so while there may be pauses as military budgets are thrashed out, we expect that we’ll generally see increased spending.”
Civil aviation safety is also something that simply has to be addressed. Many existing air traffic control and safety systems are now 30 years old and nearing the end of their life-cycles. Upgrades to radar, improved transponders, and other steps to enhanced safety can’t be ignored. Also, commercial aviation is a worldwide market with many sources of demand.
Meanwhile on the materials front, Gallium Nitride (GaN) technologies are continuing their slow but steady march into new radar and other systems.