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Tablet, smartphone demand dictate power IC market in Q2

Posted: 11 Sep 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:tablet? smartphone? power management semiconductor market? iPad?

According to the latest report from IHS, the power management semiconductor market has recovered in Q2 due to strong demand from electronic products such as smartphones and tablets. Worlwide revenue for power management semiconductors is estimated to have reached $7.9 billion in Q2, a 9.7 percent increase from $7.2 billion in Q1. The positive performance for the period stands in marked contrast to the 10.7 percent decrease seen in Q4 last year and the four percent contraction in revenue that followed in 1Q12, noted the market research firm.

"While lack of demand was to blame for the dismal performance during the fourth and first quarters, a pickup in the market for power management chips in consumer-type products is believed to have returned the market to growth in the second quarter," said Marijana Vukicevic, senior principal analyst for power management at IHS. "The products responsible for fueling growth include mobile handsets, media tablets, personal computers and other consumer electronic items, such as digital still cameras. In these devices, efficient power management is becoming more important to consumersa significant feature given that electronic devices are almost never shut off or powered down anymore."

The encouraging revenue results estimate for Q2 will also help reverse some of the inventory buildup accumulating in the channel for the last three quarters, when consumer spending had slowed down amid prevailing economic uncertainties. Continued growth is expected for the remaining two quarters of the year as the markets head to their busy selling season. Overall 2012 power management revenue is forecast to reach $32.4 billion.

While this year will end with a very modest projected pickup of 1.7 percent after nearly flat growth in 2010, the years ahead will see a boost in the power management space. Consumer markets are expected to regain some vigor starting in 2013, while growth will continue uninterrupted in the industrial and alternative energy sectors traditionally home to a strong power management revenue base.

TCL Smart TV name

Figure: Worldwide Revenue Forecast for Power Management Semiconductors
Source: IHS iSuppli Research, September 2012

The largest expansion over the next five years, at a CAGR until 2016 of nearly 30 percent, will come from the use of power management semiconductors in media tablets such as the iPad from Apple Inc. Other important market-boosting devices include mobile handsets, with an 11.7 percent CAGR during the same five-year period; mobile infrastructure, with 13.1 percent; and digital STBs, with 12.3 percent.

Insulated gate bipolar transistors (IGBT) modules are the main growth device within the power management semiconductor space, thanks to their use in alternative energy applications in the automotive and industrial segments. The biggest opportunities here will be found in the markets governing safety and control for vehicles, with a 13.1 percent CAGR; home and building control, with 12.2 percent; and energy generation, with 13.3 percent.

Low-voltage metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFET) will also be another power management device with strong growth prospects, resulting from its use in appliances, media tablets and mobile infrastructure.

Application markets for power management components are led by DC/DC non-isolated usage, with the inverter space for energy savings and alternative power sources standing out as the highest growth application sector.

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