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Cellular PA market grew 19% in 2011: Report

The cellular power amplifier (PA) market grew 19% to more than $3.3bn in 2011, driven by the growth of cellular terminal shipments to an estimated 2.3b units, according to the "Cellular PA Forecast 2012," brought out by Strategy Analytics.

Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Components Director Christopher Taylor said grey market (illegal, or shanzhai) handsets grew, as did smartphones, cellular-enabled notebooks, netbooks, tablets, USB dongles and M2M devices.

"The average number of bands and modes supported by cellular devices also grew, which slightly increased the average number of PAs per cellular device 2011. Strategy Analytics expects the non-handset segments of this market to contribute more than 40 percent of the demand in 2016," said Taylor.

Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor market research service Director Eric Higham said GaAs-based PAs make up about 95% of the market, however W-CDMA PAs fabricated in monolithic CMOS will capture a small but growing share in low-cost 3G devices over the next five years.

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"Even so, the market for GaAs-based PAs will continue to grow in more demanding applications and in the form of complex modules for multiband smartphones," feels Hingham.