Yole Développement, a market research firm based in France, has released its RF MEMS analysis. The RF MEMS Switch market report is an analysis of the market potential of RF MEMS switch-based products in defense, industrial, automotive and telecom applications.

Switching product technologies range from traditional electromechanical relays (EMR) and reed relays to semiconductor switches made of silicon or GaAs materials.

Mobile phones operators are pressuring handset manufacturers to integrate increasing numbers of bands and services (Wi-Fi, mobile TV, etc.) Handset front-end modules (FEM) require an evolution to fit in the size and cost constraints of the industry.

The challenge includes enabling tunable operation at the antenna, PA or filter level, using MEMS or competing technologies.

The MEMS solution is the one that is seeing the most adoption.

According to the July report of YOLE Développement, the RF MEMS switching products are expected to generate $990 million market in the wireless handset applications in 2013.

The market drivers for the integration of RF MEMS in handsets FEMs are clear:

  • FEM selective architecture of future multiband phones (2010) needs to shift to tunable architecture to fit with the FEM BOM equation (cost & size).

  • Tuneable components require high RF performances (linearity and insertion loss), large tuneability, small size and low cost.

  • RF MEMS is the only technology to reach this cost/size/performance equation.

  • Negative growth of the handset power amplifier component market in 2015.

RF MEMS devices will maintain the BOM of future cell phones FEMs because they are able to substitute the value of multiple components in a unique single unit having tunable capability.

RF MEMS components are expected to take 23% of the global RF FEM semiconductor market by 2015.

For more information, visit www.yole.fr.