Car radar to shift to silicon analyst claims

Market analyst Strategy Analytics has forecast that the total market demand for RF millimetre-wave components will grow at a compound annual rate of 44 per cent through 2012.

Although GaAs technology will still be in a dominant position at that point, Strategy Analytics predicted all the major tier-one automotive systems companies are moving to silicon technologies for their next generation radar platforms.

Over the 2009 to 2012 timeframe, GaAs technology will be supplanted by CMOS and SiGe technologies for use in both long-range and short-range automotive radar systems, the analyst firm claimed, with silicon technologies potentially dominating this market from 2013 onwards.

“Nearly all the major radar manufacturers are hoping to use SiGe in their next generation of system designs,” said Asif Anwar, director of Strategy Analytics’ GaAs service. “In modelling the competitive threat from silicon technologies, we have factored in increasing silicon technology penetration from 2009 onwards in line with current product design cycles.”

Anwar added: “It is not a case of a gradually increasing penetration however, but a series of discreet step increases aligned around three to four year product design cycles. We’ll see 20 to 40 per cent penetration over the 2009-2012 timeframe and then another potential shift beginning in 2013.”

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