The Radio Frequency switch helps direct high frequency signals over broadcast tracks. RF switches are widely used in wireless systems for finding wide signal routing used in switching signals from antennas to the transmit and receive chains. The global RF switch market ecosystem has witnessed major ups and downs in the past owing to the decline in the overall semiconductor component production. However, it is showing strong growth due to the demand for RF switches in wireless systems like mobile phones, for routing signals from antennas to the transmit-and-receive chains. Moreover, with the penetration of 5G cellular products, the demand for RF components is expected increase further during forecast period. This further contributes towards the growth of the RF switch market ecosystem.
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In 2019, 4G became the leading mobile network technology worldwide by the number of connections (more than 3 billion). According to GSMA Intelligence, global 4G connections will grow rapidly for many years and will even continue to surpass 5G connections for a period of time. Emerging countries such as India still requires 100,000 additional towers to handle the growing volume of data and voice requirements to cater to a 1.18 billion customer base, according to TAIPA.
The semiconductor industry is one of the most important manufacturing industries. The industry witnessed huge growth during 2017 and 2018, owing to the increased demand for memory chips relative to their tight supply. The transition of 2D NAND to 3D NAND has fuelled the memory component of the semiconductor industry. Moreover, 2019 has witnessed major downturns in the semiconductor component market. The industry declined to 12.8% of 2018, majorly due to weaker prices of memory, the U.S.-China trade war, and sluggish growth in other applications including smartphones, servers, and PCs. However, the deployment of 5G, introduction of AI, and demand for chips related to AI, IoT, and many other developments are expected to drive the semiconductor market. Moreover, the RF Switch market ecosystem comprises of various number of organized and unorganized players. The RF Switch market ecosystem in fragmented in nature comprises of raw material supplier, component manufacturer, device manufacturers, and end user.
As of 2019, the smartphone industry is one of the most prominent areas where RF switches are mostly used. This factor is expected to surge the demand of RF switch market ecosystem. In Addition, the demand for antenna tuners has increased in the recent period, as they are primarily being used in smartphone devices. Manufacturers of antenna tuners are extensively using RF MEMS in the production of antenna tuners, as they provide size advantages under space constraints. These antenna tuners are used over a broad spectrum of frequencies including mm Wave frequencies for 5G networks. Thus, the adoption of RF MEMS in the manufacturing of antenna tuners is increasing among smartphone OEMs. RF MEMS antennas improve the performance of 4G phones. The antennas in 5G handsets need every advantage that the technology can provide. RF MEMS offers the potential of using less power, improving antenna performance and radiated power, and reducing power loss in the system. The growing usage of RF MEMS is increasing and contributes towards the growth of the RF switch market ecosystem.
In October 2019, Qorvo acquired Cavendish Kinetics, Inc., a provider of RF MEMS technology for antenna tuning applications. Cavendish Kinetics, Inc. will provide its RF MEMS technology for Qorvo’s product lines. Furthermore, Broadwave Technologies introduced Model 651-031-127, an electromechanical programmable attenuator for test applications. It is available with various impedance, RF connector types, and attenuation range. These are some of the key factors that are contributing to the growth of RF switch market ecosystem.