Market Trends for Compound Semiconductor Enabled Devices, 2010 Update


Bruce A. Bernhardt

Research In Motion Corporation, 2550 Golf Road, Rolling Meadows, Illinois


Keywords: Smartphones, Barcodes, Evolved EDGE, GPS, Web services, SOAP



At the 2008 CS MANTECH Conference, a paper was presented summarizing the growth of compound semiconductor enabled electronic devices outpacing many other semiconductor markets[1]. This paper provides an update to those trends, primarily focusing on smartphones. The rapid growth of smartphones in the past two years has validated the assertion that mobile communications devices will consume many functions that previously were independent stand-alone products including pagers, alarm clocks, appointment books, watches, MP3 players, cameras and portable navigation devices. Besides functions just described, the growth of smartphones has enabled a new set of services that exploit the integration of these technologies to provide more convenience to the consumers. For example, in 2008 the use of barcodes was discussed to provide an efficient means of entering detailed information into the handset, such as addresses or contact information. In 2009 a number of barcode reader applications emerged that allow the consumer, when visiting a store, to image a product’s barcode with the camera on their smartphone, send that UPC code to a webservice, and have the webservice return the price from competitor’s stores. In the 2008 paper, a Wi-Fi enabled TV from Hewlett Packard was discussed that enabled multimedia streaming content from your home network as an example of the proliferation of Wi-Fi into more consumer devices beyond the primary application of connecting lap top computers to the internet. This makes Wi-Fi modems the second largest market behind cellular enabled devices for compound semiconductor devices. There is a company that recently announced a Wi-Fi enabled body weight scale that sends its measurement to a web service where you can monitor your weight on your computer or your smarthphone. And, if you would like your friends or the whole world to know how much you weigh today, this device can automatically send your weight out through a “tweet”.



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