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What new electronic components are needed in the 5G era?

The number and price of antennas

5G gave birth to mobile phones and base station antennas into the Massive MIMO era, and the price of antennas rose. 5G needs to be deployed in multiple frequency bands, so it needs to communicate in a millimeter-wave band with a wider spectrum and wider bandwidth, using large-scale antenna technology. Therefore, the number of mobile phone antennas has increased in the 5G era, array antennas have become mainstream, and antenna package materials will also change. LCP antennas are expected to become mainstream. In 2020, its market space is expected to reach more than $2.4-3.0 billion. In terms of communication base stations, antenna technology such as MIMO in the 5G era has been upgraded, not only the number of antennas has increased, but also the number and performance of radiating elements have been higher.

Drive RF front-end acceleration

The 5G era communication standard was further upgraded, bringing the continuous value of the mobile phone RF front-end single-machine value, and its value is expected to grow to more than 22 US dollars in the 5G era. It is estimated that the mobile phone RF front-end market will reach 22.7 billion US dollars in 2022, and the average annual compound growth rate will reach 14%. The filter is the largest business segment in the RF front-end market. The number of mobile phone band support in the 5G era will increase significantly, driving the rapid growth of the value of single-machine filters. The market size will increase from US$5.2 billion in 2016 to US$16.3 billion in 2022. The average annual compound growth rate reached 21%.

The base station upgrade increased, driving the number and price of the PCB

With the advent of 5G commercialization, the development of millimeter wave has promoted the construction of millions of small-scale base stations. The mass construction and upgrading of communication base stations will create a huge demand for enterprise communication boards, and PCBs will meet the upgrade and replacement requirements. The increase in PCB price in the 5G era is manifested in the following aspects: 1. On the one hand, the number of PCBs used by a single antenna of a base station may be increased. On the other hand, the low-loss and ultra-low-loss high-frequency PCB shall be used and the average price will also rise. 2. The size of the PCB used by the RRU will be larger, and the material is a high-speed material, and its value is also higher. 3. The area and number of layers used by the BBU will increase, and low loss or ultra-low loss is required. The PCB performance has certain requirements and the added value is improved.

High-frequency high-speed substrate demand

The high-frequency signal has a wider frequency band than the low-frequency signal, and the frequency of communication transmission is higher in the 5G era, so the demand for the high-frequency PCB board and the high-speed PCB board is higher. Therefore, the high-frequency substrate and the high-speed substrate of the copper-clad board are required. In the 5G base station, the antenna reflector, the backplane, and the TPXPA circuit in the DU and AAU are both high-frequency substrates, and the performance requirements for the high-frequency substrate are higher. The high-frequency substrate is required to maintain the dielectric constant stability while keeping the dielectric loss minimized. Therefore, the demand and added value of high-frequency copper clad laminates in the 5G era will be expanded.

I'm a electronic editor interested in semiconductor as my work.

4 Nov 2019, 13:50