RF switches are devices that are mainly used in wireless systems to route high frequency signals through transmission paths. They are being widely used in microwave test systems for signal routing between instruments and devices under test (DUT). There are basically two main categories of RF switches – electrochemical and solid-state switches.
The electrochemicalswitches have found certain applications in the form of micro-electrochemical system (MEMS) devices. They provide real-time feedbacks on machine operations and component position and help avoid major accidents associated with electric devices.
On the other hand, the solid-state switches are known for their high reliability and longer lifespan than electrochemical switches. Further, they also offer faster switching times. But these switches have higher intrinsic ON resistance and greater harmonic distortion than mechanical switches.Solid-state switches are of two types – field-effect transistors (FETs) and PIN diodes.
The demand for electrochemical switches has been rising due to increasing automation. The demand for RF switches is being mainly driven by their extensive use in wireless systems. Due to the slowdown of the global economy, the market for RF switches witnessed slow growth but has been able to maintain optimistic growth in the last four years. The global RF switch market was valued at USD 1,535.1 million in 2018 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% during 2019 to 2026.
The growth of the global market has been mainly propelled by the increasing demand for these switches for telecom base station upgrades and increasing investments in the telecom sector.The growing trend of connected devices and increasing investments on R&D for developing innovative products and services by companies are also going to boost the growth of the global market.
For instance, the launch of the first antimony-telluride (SbTe) phase-change material (PCM)-based RF switch by HRL Laboratories, which is regarded as a major development in RF switches, will accelerate data streaming in devices on 5G networks. Such type of technological development will give a major thrust to the global RF switch market.
However, in the view of the global coronavirus outbreak, the market for electronics and electronic components is expected to face some setbacks in the coming days. Already, many organizations have declined to participate in major fairs while some events have been cancelled recently. All these are eventually going to affect the global RF switch market as well.
The Asia-Pacific market is expected to hold a significant share in the global market during 2019 to 2026. The growth of the Asia-Pacific RF switch market will be driven by factors such as increasing penetration of mobile and the internet, growing investments in the defense sector, and deployment of 5G infrastructure.
The major players operating in the global RF switch market are Skyworks, Infineon Technologies, NXP Semiconductors, pSemiCorporation, Broadcom, Qorvo, Analog, Honeywell, NJR, Broadwave Technologies, Amphenol, and MAXIM, among others.