26 July 2012

Power semi market to grow $9bn to $26.2bn in 2016

The power discrete and module market will grow by almost $9bn to $26.2bn in 2016, forecasts the 15th edition of an annual report from IMS Research, which this year includes more comparisons of wide-bandgap (silicon carbide and gallium nitride) power semiconductor sales with silicon sales. Following good growth in first-half 2011, the market fell away in the second half to finish with only 9% growth over the full year. Although market conditions have remained flat in first-half 2012, the longer-term prospects remain positive, says the firm.

With revenues growing 9% from 2010, it is clear that 2011 was, at best, an average year for the power semiconductor market. This follows the dramatic market fall in 2009 and spectacular recovery in 2010, so perhaps the industry was ready for a ‘normal’ year, says IMS. However, with business confidence uncertain and the recovery stalling, what are the prospects for the future? According to IMS Research’s report ‘The World Market for Power Semiconductor Discretes & Modules 2012’ (to be published in August), there remains cautious long-term optimism, with the market projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 8% over 2011-2016, to $26.2bn.

According to IMS, in 2011 the market for power semiconductor modules again grew faster than the market for discrete power semiconductors, increasing by 32% to nearly $4.6bn. Despite slowing demand as reduced business confidence is felt in industrial market sectors, the power module market is continuing to grow in 2012. “Power module revenues are predicted to grow by 14% in 2012, and to be 80% higher than in 2011 in 2016” says senior analyst and report author Richard Eden.

The power discrete market was worth an estimated $12.9bn in 2011, having grown by just over 2% from 2010. Continued high demand for discrete IGBTs (insulated-gate bipolar transistors) accounted for nearly all the growth. “The sudden surge in discrete IGBT demand was fuelled by sales of domestic appliances such as room air-conditioning and variable-speed washing machines in the Chinese market,” adds Eden. “In contrast, sales of standard power MOSFETs and thyristors actually declined slightly in 2011.”

A high proportion of discrete power semiconductors are used in relatively fast-moving commodity items such as flat-screen TVs, notebook computers and mobile phone adapters. Sales of these products depend heavily on consumer confidence and the health of the global economy. Sales of power semiconductors in those sectors either declined or achieved negligible growth in 2011, and are not forecast to deliver much growth in 2012. Power semiconductor market growth will therefore be driven by increased content, either to improve power conversion efficiency or add functionality. In contrast, growth is forecast to accelerate in the automotive, renewable energy and transportation sectors. Overall discrete power semiconductor market growth is predicted to remain less than 5% in 2012; IMS forecasts that the market will reach almost $18bn in 2016.

For this year’s edition of the report, Greater China (China and Taiwan) has been separated out from the Rest of Asia, making five major regions, together with Europe, Middle-East and Africa (EMEA), Americas, and Japan. Other changes include an analysis of the use of bare die in power modules and electric vehicles, and coverage of some new power module applications.

See related items:

Power electronics device market to reach $20bn this year

GaN power semi market to grow at 64% to $1.75bn by 2022

GaN power semiconductor market to exceed $1bn by 2021

GaN power electronics market may top $1bn in a few years

Tags: Power electronics GaN SiC

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