Microwave Circuits, Optical Electronics and Solar Cells are applications that highly demands GaAs, and researches may lead use of GaAs in many other applications, so it will surely give a boost to the sale of GaAs. The use of microwave band is increasing since last few decades this is also one reason of heavy increasing demand of GaAs.
Bulk GaAs will never replace the 100's billions of dollars invested in Si - even if Si is only used as the substrate with a 3-5 or 2-6 active layer, it will always be "silicon" if only for PR reasons. GaAs has an excellent niche in price/performance with 0.25-0.5um (um!!) technology on 150mm wafers processed on reliable (and usually fully depreciated) cheap equipment.
Having worked in GaAs (after a decade in Si) in the mid-80's thru 2000, I can says that GaAs has found its niche in RF, high-efficiency amps and other similar apps. GaAs is now, for small-scale "analog" apps, actually cheaper than Si for a GHz RF application (yeah, hard to believe from the "technology of the future and always will be..."
Smart phones sales had increased the opportunities for many elctronic component manufactureres.This segment RF power amplifiers were once upon a time very rarely heard and used only in microwave towers.Now could see this is used in every mobile handset.GaAs MOSFET's were found only in low noise front end amplifiers but now the technolgy has taken it to power amplifier levels!
The idea got my interest as well.
Looks like there are solutions.
I came across this paper, there are several copies on
line, but this one has the diagrams and photos.
Have any of you heard about a company named Opel Solar? They claim to have refined the GaAs technology for military and Nasa (i assume because of its resistence to radiationa, low heat, and energy consumption). They appear to be making a move to have mass markets bid for the technology for mobile and computing devices and so on.
I found it interesting you mentioned Intel planned on moving to this technology. Some of Opels Directors, are previous employees of Intel.
I don't know if you are able to find out any further truth to this, or could tell if they are moving in the right direction by viewing their patents? Please let me know if any of you have heard any updates.