Revenue in 2011 from power management semiconductors is expected to reach $33.1 billion, up 6.7 percent from $31.0 billion in 2010—much slower growth compared to the market’s astounding 37.8 percent rebound last year. The market will rise a slight 3.9 percent next year to a projected $34.4 billion.
“Soon after the Japanese quake at the tail end of the first quarter, power management suffered a deceleration as manufacturing was halted in several areas of the country, home to many semiconductor plants and operations,” said Marijana Vukicevic, principal analyst for power management at IHS. “The Japanese situation righted itself by September, but by then the industry was feeling yet another constraint—the decline in consumer spending that started in the middle of the year, a situation not likely to improve until after the first half of 2012.”
Already, a tightening in consumer expenditures has slowed revenue expansion in the power management sector during the third quarter to just 2.3 percent from the earlier quarter, compared to an 8.8 percent increase during the same time last year. Growth in the fourth quarter is not expected to improve, in light of projections showing curtailed demand for popular consumer electronic items like wireless handsets and mobile computing devices—two big drivers of the power management semiconductor space.
The Biggest Performers for the Next Five Years
Despite the current slowdown in power management semiconductors, revenue expansion overall will be positive for the next five years, with growth to average 7.2 percent during the period.
Among the most promising markets will be that for inverters, anticipated to grow from $4.2 billion in 2010 to $7.5 billion in 2015. The need for efficient inverters—devices that convert direct current to alternating current—will be supplied by various markets, including automotive, solar and wind turbines, motor controls in appliances and manufacturing automation.
Other areas that will drive power management in the next five years will be mobile; communications; energy and public infrastructure improvement; and the markets for new as well as alternative forms of energy—such as hybrid and electric vehicles, wind and solar energy, and grid upgrades affecting equipment like smart meters. Of particular interest will be the submarket for microinverters designed specifically for 200-watt solar applications—projected to be one of the highest-growth segments in the entire power management space.
In terms of device segments, the strongest growth will take place in media tablets, with power management semiconductors expected to post a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 63.3 percent, trailed by the server market at a distant second with a 12.0 percent CAGR. Other significant device segments will be building and home control, notebooks, enterprise voice networks, mobile infrastructure and medical electronics. For all these areas, low-voltage metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFET) represent the main growth opportunity, followed by high-voltage MOSFETs and switching regulators.
As consumer demand returns after 2014, the higher levels in ensuing expenditures will have a positive effect on power management semiconductors, resulting in improved revenue growth at a projected 8.7 percent by that time.