Power Modules Drive Growth in Power Semiconductor Market

Demand for power module solutions drives overall market growth, as the global power semiconductor market prepares for 5% increase in 2015, researcher says.

On its way to 5% growth this year, the power semiconductor market is feeling the effects of increased demand for power modules in a wide range of applications. In a new report, industry researcher IHS, Inc. predicts that the global power module market will comprise nearly a third of the power semiconductor market by 2019, growing at twice the rate of power discretes, the other key component of the power semiconductor market.

At 5% growth, the overall global semiconductor market is expected to reach $17 billion this year.

Researchers point to growing demand for modular power solutions, which provide higher power density and greater reliability. Popular applications include inverters for wind converters, photovoltaic solar energy systems, and other renewable energy applications. Power modules are also found in industrial motor drives and hybrid and electric vehicles, according to IHS.

“OEMs will continue to want modular power solutions, which can be integrated easily into various subsystems and used in many different devices,” Richard Eden, senior analyst of the semiconductor value chain for IHS Technology, said in a statement announcing the new research from IHS.

What’s more, researchers say that standardized discrete power semiconductors have become commoditized, creating a more challenging market environment for suppliers.

“OEMs and ODMs typically multisource discrete products through distributors. Suppliers will continue to face challenges when it comes to increasing profit in commodity segments of the power discrete market,” added Victoria Fodale, senior analyst of the semiconductor value chain for IHS Technology.

The largest suppliers in the global power semiconductor market in 2014 were Infineon, with roughly 13% market share; Mitsubishi, with 7% market share; and STMicrosystems, with roughly 6% market share. Looking at power module suppliers, Mitsubishi Electric was the largest in 2014, at 24% market share, and Infineon was second, with 20% market share. The top four power module suppliers comprised 65% of the market—Mitsubishi, Infineon, Semikron, and Fuji Electric—in 2014.

Visit the IHS website for more information about its latest power semiconductor market report.

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