Millimeter Wave Technology Market and its Key Opportunities and Challenges

The Millimeter Wave Technology Market is expected to reach USD 2.3 billion by 2023 from USD 290.4 million in 2016, at a CAGR of 35.2% between 2017 and 2023, as per a report by MarketsandMarkets.

The Millimeter Wave Technology Market is expected to reach USD 2.3 billion by 2023 from USD 290.4 million in 2016, at a CAGR of 35.2% between 2017 and 2023, as per a report by MarketsandMarkets. 

Why use of Millimeter wave in autonomous vehicles present an opportunity?

Millimeter wave radars can enable cars to acquire the visual acuity that is essential for autonomous driving. However, LIDAR ios currently used to provide visual capability to driverless vehicles. In September 2016, DENSO and Fujitsu Ten together developed a revolutionary 3D millimeter radar unit that has the capability to scan a 3D surface, making the vehicle safer to travel differentiating heavy rain from translucent or opaque objects. This capability of such radars has the potential to drive the need for Millimeter wave-based components in automotive applications.

The number of sensors used on vehicle and the data that generated by them is expected to double by 2020 as vehicles become smarter and more automated. Currently, several autonomous vehicles equipped with radar, cameras, and LIDARs are in the testing phase. All three generate large amounts of data that needs to be exchanged or transmitted to nearby devices or vehicles and infotainment applications. The data transmission in this case can be done seamlessly using Millimeter wave, which provides a data transfer speed of several gigabits/sec.


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Why limited range of Millimeter wave could pose a challenge?

One of the limitations of Millimeter wave is that it can be used only for a limited range of a few meters. This is mainly due to the high atmospheric attenuation, wherein considerable amount of signal strength is absorbed by the gases present in the atmosphere. The losses or signal attenuation for Millimeter wave mainly depends on line-of-sight and frequency.

Millimeter waves are operated at higher frequencies where wavelengths are short. This reduces the penetration capability of the waves, and frequencies become more prone to attenuation and losses. This restrains the range of Millimeter wave between 50 meters and 100 meters in many cases. However, this limitation can be overcome with the use of good receiver sensitivity, high transmission power, and high antenna gains.

The impact of this challenge is currently medium but is expected to be low in the future.

High potential for the use of Millimeter wave technology in consumer electronics

The growing use of Millimeter wave technology in the consumer electronics application is one of the prominent trends observed in the Millimeter wave industry. This includes the use of Millimeter wave for IPTV, a prospective replacement of the Wi-Fi Alliance standards (802.11n) and wireless video transmission. As stated earlier, it is possible to achieve data rates up to 10 Gbit/s with the help of Millimeter waves, thus enabling the transfer of high-definition video files from a PC or laptop to a video monitor or HDTV screen wirelessly. Additionally, Millimeter wave-based components are also suitable for use in wireless HD projectors and wireless video cameras. Moreover, the Millimeter wave technology can be used as a wireless USB 3.0. For instance, Peraso Technology Inc. (US) introduced the WiGig USB 3.0 adaptors, which can be used for the wireless 4K display, multi-giga bit transfer, and Wi-Fi networking.

Adverse impact on the environment

The disadvantage of limited range for the Millimeter wave technology would force telecom operators to increase the number of towers and other equipment. Furthermore, this range can also be increased with an increase in the transmitting power. On the other hand, an increase in the transmitting power can result in high fuel consumption and high radiation. Further, increase in number of tower would escalate total capital expenditure and also surge the maintenance cost.

Further, the transmission tower also consumes significant space, leading to large-scale deforestation, primarily in rural areas. Further, several materials used in circuitries that work at Millimeter wave frequency such as SiGe, GaAs, InP, and GaN are toxic in nature and their prolonged exposure to the environment can prove hazardous.

The impact of this restraint is currently high and is expected to increase in the coming future due to the expected significant rise in the usage of the Millimeter wave technology.

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