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Posted on April 3, 2024 by  & 

AiP Market Dynamics: Drivers & Challenges in 5G & 6G

6G network digital hologram and internet of things on city background.6G network wireless systems.
Overview of AiP development:
 
Antenna-in-package (AiP) technology is essential for high-frequency telecommunications, as it enables the integration of antennas with RF components directly into semiconductor packages, unlike traditional discrete antennas. This advancement, tailored for mmWave applications and potentially extending into the sub-THz spectrum for 6G, promises much smaller footprints and enhanced performance.
 
AiP technology continues to evolve as it goes towards higher frequency. Design choices regarding types of antenna elements, substrate technology, materials, and integration of passive devices are pivotal. Furthermore, the maturity of the supply chain and the manufacturing scalability are two key areas that should not be overlooked. These two factors frequently act as a bottleneck for the adoption of new technologies, given their correlation with the final product cost.
 
Cost-effectiveness is a fundamental requirement in AiP technology. Achieving affordability involves utilizing cost-effective packaging materials and processes, along with essential miniaturization efforts for seamless integration into consumer devices such as smartphones. Additionally, meeting other prerequisites involves fabricating high-gain, broadband mmWave antenna arrays while simultaneously addressing electromagnetic compatibility, signal integrity, and power integrity concerns. Integration of quality factor passives into the package ensures optimal performance, with reliability maintained through efficient thermal dissipation. Scalability further enables module design adaptation to diverse application needs. More discussion regarding AiP technology can be found in IDTechEx's report, "Antenna in Package (AiP) for 5G and 6G 2024-2034: Technologies, Trends, Markets".
 
 
Overview of AiP for 5G and 6G market and challenges:
 
The AiP market is directly linked with the 5G mmWave and future 6G markets, as AiP is expected to be utilized in all 5G mmWave-based stations and 5G-enabled electronics like smartphones. While 5G technology is progressively being commercialized worldwide, the primary focus remains on mid-band (sub-6 GHz) deployments. IDTechEx reports that less than 10% of commercialized or pre-commercialized 5G services as of now are based on the mmWave frequency band. This is partly due to the challenges faced by mmWave deployment, as higher frequency signals are prone to attenuation in the air and are highly susceptible to obstacles in accordance with the laws of physics.
 
Telco operators prioritize creating cost-effective networks by maximizing coverage with minimal base stations. However, due to the shorter propagation distances of mmWave, approximately ten times more mmWave stations are required compared to 4G low-mid band stations to cover the same area. As a result, national 5G coverage predominantly relies on low/mid-band and sub-6 GHz bands. IDTechEx anticipates that mmWave bands will mainly serve data-intensive hotspots like crowded stadiums, supporting critical applications such as real-time streaming and uploading of high-definition videos.
 
Identifying a killer application(s) where mmWave technology can truly shine remains the greatest challenge for the industry at present. While the concept of integrating 5G mmWave with VR/AR for real-time remote gaming/work was initially promising, the market and the ecosystem for VR/AR devices have yet to mature sufficiently for 5G mmWave to capitalize on. To foster growth in the mmWave market, discovering compelling and financially rewarding business use cases is crucial. These cases must demonstrate how the advantages of 5G mmWave can justify the substantial investment required for deployment. While this process will require time, IDTechEx predicts that it will likely take another 3-5 years before witnessing a significant rise in such cases. However, with continuous innovation and exploration, the industry anticipates that the moment for widespread adoption and highly profitable opportunities for mmWave technology will inevitably arrive.
 
 
Looking ahead, 6G, the next generation of telecommunication technology, promises even greater advancements than 5G mmWave. Operating beyond 100 GHz and towards the terahertz spectrum, 6G is expected to offer Tbps data rates, microsecond-level latency, and extensive network dependability. Its capabilities extend beyond connectivity to areas such as energy harvesting, sensing, imaging, and precise positioning. However, 6G will face greater challenges compared to 5G mmWave in both technology development and market penetration, given its even higher frequencies. Overcoming these hurdles will necessitate the development of innovative technological solutions, including advancements in packaging technologies for antennas to minimize signal transmission issues. Additionally, there is a crucial need for stronger market identification of future applications to drive the adoption of 6G technologies. This entails not only identifying killer applications but also fostering the ecosystem necessary for their successful implementation.
 
IDTechEx's market report, "Antenna in Package (AiP) for 5G and 6G 2024-2034: Technologies, Trends, Markets", delves into AiP technologies for 5G mmWave and 6G, focusing on various substrate types and packaging methods. It also explores antenna integration for beyond 100 GHz applications, showcasing case studies and addressing challenges. Drawing on IDTechEx's expertise, the report offers valuable insights into the evolving landscape of antenna packaging for future generations of wireless technology.
 
 
Key aspects of the report include:
 
Overview of 5G mmWave development and 6G roadmap:
  • Explores the status of 5G mmWave development, technology innovation roadmap, key applications, and market outlook.
  • Understand the landscape of 6G, including potential spectrum, enabling THz communication technologies, key research and industry activities, roadmap, technical targets, and applications.
 
Deep dive into beamforming technologies enabled by phased array antenna for 5G mmWave:
  • Compares beamforming technologies of 5G sub-6 vs mmWave.
  • Examines phased array technologies, including antenna, semiconductor, and packaging integration components, technical requirements, trends, and design considerations.
 
Antenna integration technologies for 5G mmWave:
  • Discusses antenna substrate technology, benchmarking, material requirements, and packaging for phased arrays.
  • Explores various antenna packaging technologies for 5G mmWave, including antenna on PCB and antenna in package (AiP), categorized by packaging technologies: Flip-chip vs fan-out. Also, discuss substrate material choices, such as LTCC, low-loss organic-based, and glass, covering production challenges, material choices and benchmarks, solutions/case studies from key players, and substrate design considerations for each packaging technology.
 
 
Antenna integration technologies for applications beyond 100 GHz:
  • Addresses challenges in 6G transceiver development, focusing on power requirements, antenna gain, and phased array demands.
  • Discusses various potential packaging technologies for beyond 100 GHz applications, covering thermal management options and low-loss material choices for antenna substrates. Include case studies showcasing D-band (110-170 GHz) phased array technology.
 
10-year granular market forecast of:
  • 5G infrastructure- 5G mmWave base station forecast 2023-2034
  • Antenna Elements Forecast (Infrastructure)
  • AiP for 5G mmWave infrastructure shipment forecast 2023-2034
  • AiP for mmWave 5G infrastructure shipment forecast by packaging technology 2024-2034
  • mmWave antenna substrate forecast for 5G infrastructure (m2) 2023-2034
  • mmWave antenna substrate forecast by material type for 5G infrastructure 2023-2034
  • 5G consumer devices: Smartphone and CP- AiP module shipment in mmWave compatible smartphone forecast 2023-2034
  • AiP module shipment in mmWave-compatible smartphones by packaging technology 2023-2034
  • mmWave smartphone antenna area substrate by packaging technology 2023-2034
  • 5G mmWave CPE shipment forecast 2023-2034
  • 5G CPE mmWave AiP module shipment forecast by packaging technology 2023-2034
  • 5G CPE mmWave AiP substrate area forecast by packaging technology 2023-2034
 
 
To find out more about the IDTechEx report, "Antenna in Package (AiP) for 5G and 6G 2024-2034: Technologies, Trends, Markets", please visit www.IDTechEx.com/AiP. Downloadable sample pages are available for this report.
 
For the full IDTechEx portfolio of 5G, 6G, RFID and telecoms research, please see www.IDTechEx.com/Research/6G.
 
IDTechEx provides trusted independent research on emerging technologies and their markets. Since 1999, we have been helping our clients to understand new technologies, their supply chains, market requirements, opportunities and forecasts. For more information, contact research@IDTechEx.com or visit www.IDTechEx.com.

Authored By:

Principal Technology Analyst

Posted on: April 3, 2024

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