Chipsets Member Report December 2021
In the past year, the market for cellular modem chipsets has evolved quickly, with 5G chipsets becoming more widely available. In fact, the number of commercially available discrete 5G modems more than doubled in 2020 and the number of commercially available 5G processors/platforms grew nine-fold! That trend has continued with an 88% growth in the number of processors/platforms during 2021 and a 70% growth in the number of 5G modems. In addition, GSA is tracking two announced 5G modems and seven announced 5G mobile processors/platforms that are understood to be pre-commercial.
GSA’s online GAMBoD database now includes the ability to search for chipsets and selected features by company and by chipset type. This paper highlights the current state of the cellular modem chipset market based on the data in the database.
The focus of this report is discrete cellular modem chipsets, as well as mobile processors, SoCs and platforms (only those containing modems) used in devices with LTE (and 5G) connectivity, plus chipsets designed for devices using 3GPP-defined IoT technologies.
In addition, GSA has now started collating information on several additional chipset sub-systems for devices using 3GPP technologies including cellular front-end chipsets and RFICs, power amplifiers, as well as antenna modules/antenna-in-package solutions for mmWave (modules containing antennas plus additional systems such as RF transceivers, power amplifiers, power management ICS or beam steering).
GSA is not collating data on individual components such as filters, duplexers, antennas, or antenna switches, nor silicon designed primarily for base stations used as network infrastructure. Nor do we track reference designs for complete platforms or discrete components where the vendor is not involved beyond creation of IP for licensing. However, we do include chipsets designed for enterprise and residential small cells and FWA applications, as these can be considered devices (femtocells are included in the GAMBoD database).
5G silicon status
There is an increasing choice of modem and mobile processor chipsets for 5G devices, with products commercially available from Hi-Silicon (Huawei), Mediatek, Qualcomm, Samsung and Tsinghua Unigroup (UNISOC [formerly Spreadtrum]).
All five players have been expanding their product ranges.
By December 2021, GSA had identified 47 commercially available 5G mobile processors/platforms and 17 commercially available discrete 5G modems from the five semi-conductor companies mentioned above. In addition, GSA had identified two pre-commercial 5G modems and seven pre-commercial 5G processors/platforms.
A clear market trend has been the rapid recent rise in the number of mobile processors/platforms, using the available 5G modems.
GSA is also tracking various capabilities of 5G chipsets, including their support for 5G standalone (5G SA) networks. GSA has catalogued 54 mobile commercially available processors/platforms or discrete modems that have stated support for 5G standalone networks – 84.4% of all commercially available 5G chipsets.
Detailed information about spectrum support, capability to support 5G New Radio Carrier Aggregation, or to support voice-over new radio (VoNR), is not available for every 5G chipset. Nonetheless, GSA has identified 38 commercially available discrete modem/mobile processor chipsets with stated support for voice-over new radio. Fifty-five of those 5G chipsets are catalogued as supporting 5G services in sub-6 GHz spectrum and 36 are catalogued as supporting 5G services using mmWave spectrum.
GSA has started collating information about the numbers of chipset subsystems available for 5G devices. So far, GSA has catalogued 21 front-end modules or RFICs stated to support 5G from four vendors; 19 with stated support for sub 6 GHz spectrum bands and two with stated support for mmWave bands. It has identified five antenna modules suitable for end-user devices with stated support for 5G mmWave (with more available for network/infrastructure applications).
Chipsets Member Report December 2021
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© GSA 2021
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