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ABI Research Teardown: Samsung Galaxy Appeal Indicates Shift from GaAS to CMOS Power Amplifiers for 3G Handsets

  ABI Research Teardown: Samsung Galaxy Appeal Indicates Shift from GaAS to
  CMOS Power Amplifiers for 3G Handsets

Business Wire

AUSTIN, Tx. -- November 26, 2012

The Samsung Galaxy Appeal is one of the first mass produced phones to ship
with a high performance 3G CMOS PA. Despite an historical presence from CMOs
in the 2G handset market concerns over performance have severely limited its
progress in the 3G domain. The GaAs based PA incumbents such as, Avago,
TriQuint, RFMD, Skyworks, and Anadigics have not felt any real impact to date
but new products such as the Javelin J5501 BI Pa found in the Galaxy Appeal,
indicate that this performance gap has been narrowed significantly.

Javelin J5501 CMOS B1 PA along side a BII GaAs PA (J2C) (Photo: Business Wire)

Javelin J5501 CMOS B1 PA along side a BII GaAs PA (J2C) (Photo: Business Wire)

Jim Mielke, VP of engineering at ABI Research, states, “Even though the CMOS
PA is over 3X the die area of a typical GaAs PA (3.3sq mm vs. 1 sq mm in the
Appeal example), the lower CMOS wafer cost, simple packaging and the added
digital content that reduces test times allow the CMOS PAs - such as the ones
produced by Black Sand and Javelin - to compete competitively on cost as well
as performance.” Mielke went on to add that the market should, “Expect single
digit market share numbers for CMOS PAs in 2013. The CMOS PA market volumes
could be even higher if Qualcomm is successful with their penta-band CMOS PA
they are actively presenting now.”

Product Testing of the Galaxy Appeal and the Javelin J5501 BI provided some
conclusions that may be central to this evolving market:

  *CMOS PAs match GaAs efficiency across all power levels up to 22.5dBm
  *CMOS PAs have an efficiency advantage at low power levels (up to 20% low
    current)
  *GaAs PA die are significantly smaller then CMOS equivalents 1sq mm vs.
    3.3sq mm
  *Both GaAs and CMOS Pas can be manufactured for under $.40

ABI Research’s “SAMSUNG GALAXY APPEAL (I827) Teardown” report provides
detailed photos, process evaluation, and part descriptions for all of the
major components. Tying all the information together are unique circuit board
photos, performance measurements, processor benchmarks, cost information, and
board area data.

It is one of thousands of devices and components in the firm’s Mobile Device
Teardown (http://www.abiresearch.com/research/service/teardown-services/)
Research Service

ABI Research provides in-depth analysis and quantitative forecasting of trends
in global connectivity and other emerging technologies. From offices in North
America, Europe and Asia, ABI Research’s worldwide team of experts advises
thousands of decision makers through 70+ research and advisory services. Est.
1990. For more information visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.

Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available:
http://www.businesswire.com/multimedia/home/20121126005873/en/

Multimedia
Available:http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50488321&lang=en

Contact:

ABI Research
Christine Gallen, +1-516-624-2542
pr@abiresearch.com
 
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