Venture Lab FREeM: Market Size and Pricing


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Venture Lab FREeM: Market Size and Pricing

  1. 1. Opportunity Execution Project Interim Report 1 Size of the Antenna Design Market Based upon FCC Regulatory Submissions by Tim Team FREeM
  2. 2. 1. The Fundamental Problem and the OpportunityThe Wireless Device MarketWireless devices are in an explosive growth phase that shows little sign of abating - last year428 million mobile devices shipped in Q1 2011 alone [1]. With the number of wirelessdevices in the USA now outstripping the countrys population, consumer appetite for mobiledata consumption and ubiquitous wireless connectivity saw mobile data consumption rise to314 petabytes from 1 billion wireless devices in 2011 [2].According to CISCO systems, by 2016, this is set to increase 10 fold to 10 billion devicesworldwide, 8 billion user wireless devices and 2 billion machine to machine (M2M) links [3].Antenna ImportanceThe undisputedly astronomical scale of the wireless device market belies the complexity ofthe individual product. This complexity is mitigated in most cases by using reference designsand ASSP (application specific standard product) circuits to render the design possible. TheiPhone for example supports 5 standards (UMTS, GSM, GPS ,WiFi and Bluetooth) in 4frequency bands [4]. Reuse of antenna designs in any wireless design is, however, typicallyvery difficult - sometimes impossible - as it depends upon the mechanical design and layoutof the specific product. In 2010 over 50% of wireless devices featured 3 or more transmitterswithin the same device [5].Antenna design is hence a crucial aspect of the wireless device - the radio system performancelives and dies on the strength of the antenna design. The most recent and high profile exampleof this was the iPhone’s antenna detuning problems nicknamed the grip of death by themedia [6].The Antenna Design Market12,000 Designs were submitted for FCC type approval in 2010 [5]. The growth of the marketis shown in the image shown below taken from the FCC report [5].
  3. 3. Submission is a legal requirement for sale in the US so is representative of the number ofradio projects that were completed and brought to market. The FCC reveals the followingstatistics: 50% Of these featured 3 radios (18,000 radio transmitters). 30% Featured 2 radios (7,200 radio transmitters). 20% Had a single radio (2400 radio transmitters). Hence a total of 27600 radio transmitter systems approved in the USA.Note receiver systems (e.g. GPS and FM radio) which form the bulk of radio systemsdesigned, are not included (no FCC requirement) multiple antenna systems will also notshow-up (MIMO, diversity etc). We hence conservatively estimate 80-100 k individualconsumer wireless antenna designs worldwide per year. This does not include military,aerospace etc.Conclusions from the Opportunity Analysis ProjectThe difficulty with existing antenna design tools is the high price tag simulator productsattract. A brief survey of publically available annual single processor, single seat license feepricing information revealed the following: HFSS $40,000 [7] AWR Axiem $30,000 [8] FEKO $16,000 [11] ADS Momentum $15,000 [9] Sonnet Gold (perpetual) $12,000 [10]10 Consultancies and SME manufacturers were surveyed and revealed that such expense(without even considering the hardware infrastructure demanded by such applications, 10k to15k server hardware) was impossible to justify for the 2-3 radio designs they performed peryear.
  4. 4. References[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] EEtimes Ansoft carves another niche for HFSS tool 7/7/03 Stephan Ohr[8] EDN awr’s new em simulator touts flexibility 11/9/07 Michael Santarini[9] EDA Cafe Agilent technologies latest gensys software provides first pass rf/microwaveaccuracy 19/9/07[10][11]