El Segundo, Calif. - The global market for industrial semiconductors is forecast to increase by 12.9 percent in 2014, reaching $38.5 billion, up from $34.0 billion in 2013, according to IHS Technology. This is up from an increase of 11.4 percent growth in 2013. The growth is attributed to “continuing strength in China and a resurgent U.S. economy,” the two largest markets for industrial semiconductors.
The U.S. and China are driving global growth this year with revenue increases of 13 percent and 17 percent, respectively, according to IHS. The two regions contributed to the strong market increases in the second quarter, picking up the slack from a declining market in Europe.
U.S. growth is driven by several factors, said IHS, “including a more stable housing market, improved consumer finances, and credit and increased capital spending,” which will result in a two percent increase in annual growth in the U.S. industrial semiconductor market. The U.S. – with 30.5 percent of total revenue in 2013 - is the No. 1 purchaser of industrial semiconductors globally and holds the biggest market share across several industrial markets.
In China, the government stimulus programs throughout the country’s various market segments is resulting in big spending on microchips in industrial sectors including manufacturing and process automation, test and measurement, building and home control, and security and video surveillance, said IHS. With 14.1 percent of total revenues in 2013, China is ranked the second largest purchaser of industrial semiconductors.
The report, Robust Q2 supports 2014 double-digit growth forecast, also finds that second quarter growth was driven by three sectors: factory automation, building and home control, and commercial aircraft. The expansion of nearly 7 percent kept the global market for industrial semiconductors on a strong growth path for the year, said IHS.
“Rising demand for industrial semiconductors in the United States is being driven by a wide range of positive economic factors that are boosting the manufacturing sector,” said Robbie Galoso, principal analyst for IHS, in a statement. “At the same time, the Chinese government’s generous stimulus programs in several product markets are promoting broad-based strength for various industrial electronics areas. The robust performance in both countries kept spending on industrial semiconductors on track in the second quarter and set the stage for accelerated growth for the entire year of 2014.”
The report finds that LEDs will be among the fastest growing product sectors in the industrial semiconductor market, driven by general lighting applications. The LED segment will grow 12.4 percent this year.
One the newest LEDs aimed at industrial applications is the LETERAS family of white LEDs from Toshiba America Electronic Components, Inc. (TAEC). The new TL1L3 series features ultra-compact devices that combine gallium nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) chips with an industrial standard 3535 lens type package. The GaN-on-Si process technology allows GaN LEDs to be produced on 200-mm silicon wafers, which is said to lower costs for manufacturers of industrial LED lighting as well as general lighting.
Other LED manufacturers including Cree Inc. and Philips Lumileds also have been boosting their LED portfolios with new processes and designs. Cree, for example, introduced its higher performance XLamp XP-G2 LEDs in the fourth quarter 2013 using its SC³ Technology Platform, delivering seven percent increase in brightness. It delivers up to 142 lumens per watt at 350 mA, 85°C or 155 lumens per watt at 350 mA, 25°C in warm white (3000K), “enabling lighting manufacturers to use fewer LEDs to achieve the same brightness at a lower system cost or increase performance levels using the same LED count and power,” said the company. The LEDs can be used in a variety of industries including industrial, sport lighting, and street and area lighting.
In the second quarter of 2013, Philips Lumileds introduced its LUXEON 3535 D, which combines two LED chips in a package. Like the Cree device, it enables designers to reduce LED count and reduce the cost of designs of retrofit lamps, consumer downlights, and diffuse industrial lamps. The LUXEON 3535 2D line operates at 0.5 to 1 W, delivering up to 130 lumens in the compact 3535 form factor.
Other fast-growing segments include transistors and thyristors, which will grow 14.2 percent in 2014, said IHS. Many of the latest products feature small packaging and high power density. One example is STMicroelectronics’ STAC250V2-500E 13.6-MHz RF power transistor, which provides high power density in a miniaturized and thermally efficient package for high-output class-E industrial power supplies. This transistor provides advantages for several industrial applications including induction heaters, plasma-enhanced vapor-deposition systems, and production equipment for solar cells and flat-panel televisions.