Last year, it was mentioned in the article (RF chips were out of stock, Huawei re-imported the PA solution of American companies) that in order to improve supply chain security, Huawei handed over its self-developed PA chips to Sanan Optoelectronics, which is expected to be in the first quarter of 2020. Small-scale production, mass production will begin in the second quarter. Today, Huawei’s latest P40 has been almost all localized, and Sanan Optoelectronics, as a domestic RF chip foundry, has also appeared in the list of Huawei’s P40 core suppliers.
5G PA market stalls
Tianfeng Securities analyst Guo Mingqi once issued a report stating that it was originally estimated that the number of PAs required for each 5G iPhone would reach 6, but after investigation, it will be significantly revised down to 1-2, and the iPhone’s PA requirements will also be adjusted. demand. Previously, Apple’s PA was designed by Broadcom and produced by Wen Mao. Now Qorvo and Skyworks have replaced Broadcom as the iPhone 5G PA supplier, while Broadcom only focuses on supplying mid-to-high frequency PAs that integrate n41. Although the unit price of the mid-to-high frequency PAs that Broadcom is responsible for has increased, the future growth rate will not be too bright due to the loss of the iPhone’s growth momentum.
As the main suppliers of RF chips for Apple’s mobile phones, the performance of Qorvo and Skyworks is very dependent on Apple. It is rumored that Apple’s orders account for up to one-third of Qorvo’s overall revenue, while Skyworks comes from Apple’s Revenue accounted for 51%. Without a big customer like Huawei, the two companies can only be tied more tightly with Apple, and there is a situation where one is prosperous and one is lost.
Affected by the epidemic, Apple will delay the release of 5G mobile phones and cut its sales forecasts. Qorvo and Skyworks have followed Apple to lower their revenue forecasts. Now the demand for PA in the mobile phone market has weakened, making the three giants (Qorvo, Skyworks, Broadcom and Broadcom) ) gave me a headache.
5G base station acceleration
PA has four main tracks: mobile phone PA, Wi-Fi PA/FEM, NB-IoT PA, and 5G base station PA. The weakened demand for PA in mobile phones can be made up in other areas.
As an important part of the new infrastructure, the construction of 5G has become a star project. As the world’s largest supplier of communication equipment, Huawei has significantly increased orders for related chips used in infrastructure equipment, especially 4G and 5G base stations, including PA (power amplifiers). ), network processors, etc.
On March 31, 2020, China Mobile’s 2020 5G Phase II wireless network main equipment centralized procurement results were released, a total of 232,400 5G base stations in 28 provincial companies, of which Huawei’s share was 57.25% (133,040 5G base stations won the bid), ZTE’s share 28.68% (66,655 5G base stations won the bid), Ericsson’s share was 11.45% (26,606 5G base stations won the bid), and Datang Mobile (China Telecom) had a 2.62% share (6,099 5G base stations won the bid).
With the large-scale commercial use of 5G this year, the 5G capital expenditure plan in 2020 will reach 180.3 billion yuan, a year-on-year increase of 3.38 times. The number of 5G base stations is expected to increase by 1.2 to 1.3 times compared with 4G, and the 4G base station will be converted to 5G. The base station’s demand for PA has increased by 16 times. Therefore, it is expected that in 2020, the use of PAs in base stations is expected to reach 73.728 million, and the proportion of base station PAs based on GaN technology will increase from 50% last year to 58%.
According to an estimate by Trend Force, China’s 5G base station GaN RF PA market is expected to grow to RMB 32.7 billion this year, nearly five times that of last year. It is expected to grow significantly in 2021, reaching 6.8 billion yuan, and 10.7 billion yuan in 2022. As the largest equipment supplier, Huawei naturally benefits a lot.
Major domestic manufacturers
Huawei’s self-developed PA and handed over to Sanan Optoelectronics gave domestic PA manufacturers a boost, and also allowed domestic PAs to seize the opportunity of 5G commercial use and occupy more markets. At present, the excellent domestic PA manufacturers include Unisplendour Zhanrui, Weijie Chuangxin, Wisdom Micro, National Feixiang, Zhongke Hantianxia, Zhuoshengwei and so on.
Founded in July 2012, Hantianxia Electronics is a leading supplier of RF front-end chips and RF SoC chips in China, with an annual chip shipment of 700 million. With a complete series of PAFEM product lines, it is the first manufacturer in China to have mass-produced CMOS PA and GaAs PA technologies at the same time.
As early as 2007, RDA released the first GSM/EDG quad-band PA module with independent intellectual property rights, which filled the technological gap in my country. The two processes of CMO and GaAs have comprehensive coverage in RF front-end products, and mass-produced RF switches, low-noise amplifiers and dual-mode WI-FI RF front-end products, and completed the layout of RF filters.
National Feixiang was separated from National Technology in 2015. National Technology transferred the PA business to National Feixiang. In 2011, NZ5081 was applied to Coolpad mobile phones, which is the first domestic PA applied to smart phones.
Vanchip is the largest RF IC design company in China. It was established by former RFMD personnel. It entered the RF PA market with the mainstream GaAs process, and its products cover switches, antenna tuners and front-end modules. Its 4G PA shipments are the largest in China, covering the top few mobile phone design companies and Xiaomi.
Zhuoshengwei was established in 2012 and is headquartered in Wuxi, Jiangsu. Its main business is the development and design of RF devices and RF low-noise amplifiers. It is a domestic RF front-end chip design enterprise. The main products include RF switches and RF low noise amplifiers (LNA), and the main customers are Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi and other smartphone manufacturers.