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Power supplies to drive semiconductor market

Although the global market for semiconductors used in power supplies is forecast to grow at a robust 6.5 percent in 2013, growth opportunities differ widely by semiconductor product and by applications
Despite a largely flat market for power supplies in 2012, IMS Research, (now part of IHS), predicts that the market will offer strong opportunities for some semiconductor manufacturers in 2013.

Its report, "The World Market for Semiconductors in Merchant Power Supplies - 2012," analyses the opportunity for semiconductors in both the AC-DC and DC-DC power supply market and provides forecasts to 2016.

Apart from silicon, the main products used in power applications are GaN and SiC.

Strongest growth is predicted for MPU/MCU/DSP/DSC products at 35 percent in 2013.

Although this is currently one of the smallest markets for semiconductors used in power supplies, it is projected to grow by $45 million from 2012 to 2016 owing to adoption of digital power and advanced power factor correction (PFC) techniques.

Associate Director of IMS Research’s power management and conversion group, Ryan Sanderson, comments, “Demands for greater efficiency and increased power density continue to drive opportunities for semiconductor vendors. The market for digital power alone is forecast to quadruple in the next five years, as a direct result of this. Many more opportunities exist, however, linked to legislation and design changes.”

Other growth drivers include the increase in demand for power supplies which use synchronous rectification at the output, a trend projected to account for a large part of the $80 million growth forecast for the power MOSFET market from 2012 to 2017.

Also, the combined market for AC-DC switching regulators (integrated FET) and switching controllers (external FET) is predicted to grow by $270 million in the next five years. This is driven in part by demand for more intelligent solutions in cell phone chargers to cope with requirements for “no-load power consumption” and strong demand from applications such as tablets and LED lighting.

Sanderson adds, “2012 was a difficult year for many semiconductor vendors who sell into power supplies, with reduced demand from many sectors. Demand from end markets such as notebook PCs and industrial applications, which typically offer steady growth, was much weaker than average. Opportunities did exist, however, particularly in tablet PCs and the rapidly expanding market for LED lamps and luminaires. These opportunities are forecast to drive further growth in 2013 and beyond.”

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