Four power trends for 2020: Page 2 of 4

December 11, 2019 //By Nick Flaherty
Four power trends for 2020
Gallium nitride chip designer GaN Systems has released its top four power trends for 2020

5G Rollout

In 2019, the 5G rollout was slower than expected, primarily due to the issues around communications service providers (CSPs) upgrading 4G infrastructure within 5G areas of coverage. Nevertheless, according to Gartner research, 5G services have already begun the U.S., South Korea, and some European countries, including Switzerland, Finland and the U.K.                        

In China, 5G commercial services are now available in 50 cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua. In Shanghai, nearly 12,000 5G base stations have been activated to support 5G coverage across the city's key outdoor areas. CSPs in Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Spain, Sweden, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates have announced plans to accelerate 5G network building through 2020. As a result, Gartner estimates that 7% of CSPs worldwide have already deployed 5G infrastructure in their networks. 

In 2020, GaN Systems predicts: 

  • 5G equipment will continue its ramp up throughout the world, requiring greater bandwidth and power in smaller enclosures. GaN power transistors will be the transistor of choice on the rollout of 5G because of power density, energy efficiency, and system size requirements for macro and micro base stations for broadband delivery. GaN RF transistors will play an important part for the power amplifiers of those base stations.
  • Wireless through-wall with GaN means low cost equipment can be installed and maintained economically and reliably. Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) with wireless power transfer technology solves the 5G data ‘wall problem'.
  • 5G macro and micro base stations are expected to consume at least twice the amount of power as today’s networks since they will require both new cell sites and more power to run existing sites.
  • Using GaN technology will produce smaller and lighter equipment with up to 50% increase in power density.
  • 5G macro and micro base stations, power is reaching 2-3X the requirements of legacy systems. While 5G will improve energy efficiency since energy cost per bit is 1/10 its level on 4G, base stations are still energy-hungry at network-level, due to tens of times traffic increase. 70 million micro base stations alone are expected to be deployed by 2025.

Next: Power trends in energy storage

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