London — The global market for semiconductors used in major home appliances is projected to grow more than 12 percent in 2013, up from 6.8 percent in 2012, according to a report from IHS Inc. The total semiconductor revenue for these products will reach approximately $2.6 billion up from $2.3 billion in 2012.
Double-digit increases are expected to continue in 2014 and 2015, after which growth will stabilize at a nine-percent range during the following two years, according to the Major Home Appliances – World – 2013 Edition report. Semiconductor revenue is forecast to reach $3.8 billion by 2017. The biggest appliance consumers of semiconductors are room air conditioners and washing machines, accounting for more than 60 percent of this industry's chip revenue in 2013.
“The strong performance of the major home appliances industry is fueling a similar trend in the semiconductor market,” said Dinesh Kithany, senior analyst for home appliance research at IHS, in a statement. “Just as consumers—especially those in the emerging countries—have been spending more freely on major home appliances, the semiconductor market for appliances is being pulled along in corresponding healthy fashion, also supported by an increase in the use of electronics in these devices.”
A key finding indicates that power semiconductors will be the largest and fastest-growing chip segment with 12 percent annual growth projected from 2012 to 2017. Parts in big demand: insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) modules (IPMs – Intelligent Power Modules) and IGBT discretes thanks to increasing use of inverter-based variable-speed motor control technology. "The inverter-based technology increases energy efficiency by controlling the speed of the motor and also helps in reducing noise levels during an appliance’s operation," said IHS.
The report also finds that while 8-bit microcontrollers (MCUs) will still dominate the MCU market, 32-bit versions will grow the fastest over the forecast period. Driving 32-bit MCU usage includes the use of electronic displays, touch controls, sensors and inverter-based technology in major home appliances. IHS projects that total microcontroller revenue will reach approximately $700 million by the end of 2013.
In addition to an increasing use of electronic displays, touch controls and sensor technology, other growth drivers include an increased requirement for better power management, and the adoption of smart grids or smart meters as well as networked or connected appliances as major home appliance suppliers focus on product innovation and marketing initiatives, said IHS.