The impending roll out of 5G services has prompted MACOM and STMicroelectronics to extend their agreement on 150mm GaN-on-Silicon production capacity in ST’s fabs, along with a shift to 200mm as demand requires. This builds upon the broad GaN-on-Silicon agreement between MACOM and ST announced in early 2018.
5G networks and the move to Massive MIMO (M-MIMO) antenna configurations is expected to create a substantial increase in the demand for RF Power products.
Specifically, MACOM estimates there will be a 32X to 64X increase in the number of Power Amplifiers required. In turn, this is expected to more than triple dollar content over the course of a 5-year cycle of 5G infrastructure investment and thus drive an estimated 10X to 20X decrease in the cost per amplifier.
“Major base station OEMs understand they need wide bandgap GaN performance with transformational cost structures and manufacturing capacity to meet 5G antenna cost, range and energy efficiency targets in the field. By teaming with ST, we believe MACOM is uniquely poised to provide it all — performance, cost and high-volume supply chain,” said John Croteau, President and CEO of MACOM. “We anticipate that our joint investment at this early stage in bringing on more capacity positions us to service up to 85% of the global 5G network buildout.”
“ST has built a strong foundation as a global leader in Silicon Carbide and we are now moving forward with RF GaN-on-Silicon, which will enable OEMs to build a new generation of high-performance 5G networks,” said Marco Monti, President of the Automotive and Discrete Product Group, STMicroelectronics. “While Silicon Carbide is ideal for certain power applications such as automotive power conversion, GaN-on-Silicon provides the necessary RF performance, scale and commercial cost structures to make 5G a reality. With this move ST and MACOM aim to unlock the industry bottleneck and fulfill the demand for 5G buildouts.”