MACOM Technology Solutions Holdings, Inc. and STMicroelectronics announced the 2019 expansion of 150mm GaN-on-Silicon production capacity at ST’s fabs, as well as the expansion of 200mm GaN-on-Silicon capacity as demand requires. The expansion is intended to serve the worldwide 5G Telecom buildout. This latest capacity expansion builds upon the broad GaN-on-Silicon agreement between MACOM and ST announced in early 2018.
The global rollout of 5G networks and move to Massive MIMO (M-MIMO) antenna configurations is expected to create a significant increase in the demand for RF Power products. Specifically, MACOM projects that there will be a 32x to 64x boost in the number of power amplifiers required.
This large increase in power amp demand is projected to more than triple the dollar amount of infrastructure investment over a 5-year cycle, 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 for 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.”