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In the last five years, extraordinary R&D progress has been made in advancing the state-of-the-art of GaAs ICs. High speed digital circuits have been demonstrated with up to 100,000 components per chip. Microwave monolithic ICs have been successfully operated at frequencies as high as 60 GHz. In the Western World, about 4500 people are now working on GaAs-related development programs. Companies in Japan, Europe and the U.S. are starting to build manufacturing facilities in order to serve a world-wide GaAs IC market, which is expected to expand from $130 million to $1.3 billion by the end of this decade. This paper examines the potential of the three most important GaAs transistor structures, reviews the progress in microwave and digital GaAs ICs, and highlights future technical challenges. Furthermore, the paper lists major GaAs IC application areas, projects market growth until 1990, presents market perspectives, and identifies future business opportunities.