We presented, “Semiconductor Technology and Market Trends for Military Systems and Implications for
Europe” at the inaugural Defence/Security Executive Forum at EuMW on September. Electronic systems provide key capabilities such as situational awareness, protection, communications and analysis and increasing complexity is being driven by the demand for voice, video and data inputs that are used to make timely decisions.
This is resulting in increasing complexity of advanced defense systems such as radar, EW, comms etc used on the various defense platforms. A good example in this respect is the growing use of active electronically scanned (AESA) Radar that allow multiple beam generation at different frequencies being used for search, scan and tracking. Aside from radar, there are a number of generic trends including higher frequency, wider bandwidth, higher power, and integration that are driving the development and application of new technologies.
These system requirements impact RF semiconductor development and market opportunities, but need to balanced against the specific needs of the military. As an example, the increasing use of COTS has to be considered against requirements that typically transcend the capabilities of commercial parts
including longer life cycles, environmental directives, concern over counterfeiting and military standards/testing. This is leading to the increasing use of KOTS ("Kind-of"-off- the- shelf), i.e. semi-custom components)
, that provide a balance between the need to leverage mainstream technology advances, and modular solutions with the unique requirements of the defense industry.
Silicon MOSFETs and TWTs form the stalwart technologies for the main RF/analog technologies used in military systems
, but as trends gravitate towards higher frequencies, broadband performance and flexible operation, then the use of more advanced semiconductor technologies will become mainstream. SiC, GaAs and GaN in particular will see increasing use providing a mix of advanced performance coupled with mainstream manufacturing expertise
, but there are also emerging opportunities for SiGe technologies.
Taking the communications segment as an example, Strategy Analytics sees a market growing from $4.8 billion in 2010 and approach $7 billion by 2020.
Land-based tactical radios represent the largest market military communications. Common trends across the board include a move towards higher frequencies, e.g. land radios moving through to 2.7GHz, wide bandwidth requirements, multi-band requirements. Other desirable factors include either high power, smaller form factors or a mix of these attributes. A further breakdown of the analysis to individual functional components and process technologies shows, for example, the market for transceiver components growing from around an estimated $206 million in 2010 to $340 million
The presentation is available as a complimentary report from the Strategy Analytics website, see Advanced Defense Systems
. You can also see Microwave Journal’s write-up of the Strategy Analytics’ presentation as well the speakers at 2010 Defence/Security Executive Forum
. There’s even a short video and all the presentations can be downloaded as well from the Microwave Journal write-up.
ADS has released a series of individual forecasts in both report and spreadsheet format for the military communications sector;
MilSatcom Electronic Market Trends through 2020
MilSatCom - Advanced Electronics Component Forecast
Electronic Component Demand Scenarios for Land Based Military Tactical Radios
Land Based Military Tactical Radio Electronic Component Demand Scenarios
Airborne Communications Platforms - Advanced Electronics Component Forecast
Naval Communications Platforms - Advanced Electronics Component Forecast
The Future of Electronic Component Demand from Military Radio (Presentation)
The Future of Electronic Component Demand from Military Radio (Video)
Terrestrial Military Satcom Platforms - Advanced Electronics Component Forecast