24 November 2011

Dynamic growth reported for power management semiconductors

The power management semiconductor market experienced huge growth in 2010, with the industry worth $31billion, according to IHS iSuppli.

The market analyst says voltage regulators and specific transistors experiencing 40% expansion, while the largest slice of the market was held by mosfet devices used for switching electronic signals, with 21% of the space. ASIC and assc products related to power management accounted for 20% of the market, switching regulators took 16% and linear regulators and insulated gate bipolar transistors accounted for 10% each.

According to IHS, the rest of the market was split into single digit shares among rectifiers and power diodes, bipolar transistors, voltage reference devices, power management interfaces and thyristors. In 2010, total revenue for the power management market was worth $31bn, a year on year increase of 41%.

Marijana Vukicevic, analyst at IHS, said: "The name of the game in 2010 was 'capacity'. Given the prevailing conditions of high demand last year, those who had access to big capacity - predominantly the key players in the market - ended up reaping the greatest success. Volume was the ticket to capacity, and also was the passage for gaining access to the top rungs of the market, IHS believes. The market for power management semiconductors comprises products specifically geared for the conversion, distribution and management of power in electronic systems."

A notable growth market during 2010 was in IGBTs, which expanded 56% to $3bn, up from $1.9bn in 2009. According to IHS, the main driver was the improvement of infrastructure especially in China, with a trend toward environmentally friendly sources of energy like solar, wind, hybrid and electric vehicles.

"Power management suppliers are now trying to make a sharp turn from producing consumer type semiconductors to high value devices," said Vukicevic. "By improving the mix of products for various markets, suppliers hope to become less vulnerable to fluctuations in demand and to economic shifts within the industry." However, Vukicevic believes that such a strategy must be thought out properly, especially because the high value market for power management semiconductors is much smaller than that for consumer type sectors. "Moreover, with everyone embarking on the same voyage, there won't be enough room for everyone to navigate successfully," she warned.

Chris Shaw

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