LONDON – The global power semiconductor market will grow by 5.0 percent in 2012 to $32 billion after growing by 3.7 percent in 2011, according to market research firm IMS Research.
IMS (Wellingborough, England) attributes the relatively low growth in 2011 and 2012 to global economic uncertainty and a concommittant reduction in inventory as it is flushed from the supply chain. The market, which grew by 37 percent in 2010 is forecast to return to double-digit growth in 2013.
Power IC market growth was almost 3 percent lower than power discrete growth in 2011, though this trend is set to be reversed in 2012, with slightly higher growth predicted for power ICs. The power module market continued to outperform both power discretes and power ICs, showing sustained high double-digit growth in 2011, which is projected to remain in for the next four years, driven by demand for IGBT modules.
The effects of economic uncertainty are set to linger long into 2012 with 1H12 sales of power semiconductors flat with 1H11, according to IMS senior research director Ash Sharma.
However, some niches will remain buoyant. Strong demand for smartphones is projected to continue throughout 2012, despite a slowdown in 4Q11, driving the market for power ICs, in particular battery management ICs. "Smartphone charger demand is also forecast to help drive growth of the ac-dc regulator market, switching controllers and MOSFETs. Automotive demand remained strong throughout 2011 and the increasing content of electronics within vehicles is projected to drive growth in all power semiconductor markets," said senior analyst Ryan Sanderson.
It is quite true that the demand of the Power Modules will be very much compared to the discrete's or ICs, as designing switching converters expertise is very limited and is confined in some patches on the globe, this will lead to the usage of predesigned and premanufactured power modules.
Power IC is a misnomer in this article. Usually it is thought of in terms of superhigh voltages (like kV). That market should be less than a billion.
If you are thinking ac/dc charging, that's "low-power" electronics, which should be everywhere now, I think.
@resistion: you are very right, the two 'power supply' markets are distinctly different, as are their margins and volumes. The IGBT-based ones are typically several orders less in magnitude than the lower power MOSFET-based solutions. So it is confusing to broad-brush both in the same context.
Power supply nevertheless is the key portion of nowadays electronics, especially more and more portable stuff are being built. Higher efficiency is the key to drive for "greener energy/power" so people are forced to put more stuff on the power portion in order to squeeze more energy out of the battery and drive the key electronics with the best and efficient way.
5% growth is quite pessimistic growth but i think looking at today's macroeconomic condition the growth may be realistic. The focus for growth in consumer market next year will be in the ultrabook, tablet, automobile and smartphone. Let's see how much push would the industry get.
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