Englewood, Colo. – The global power module market is forecast to account for 30 percent of the power semiconductor market by 2019, according to IHS Inc. The market is expected to grow at twice the rate of power discretes over the forecast period of 2014 to 2019.
Overall, the power semiconductor market, including power discretes and power modules, is expected to reach $17 billion in 2015, growing at a five percent rate, according to the Power Semiconductor Discretes and Modules Report from IHS Technology. In comparison, in 2014, year-over-year power discrete revenue grew five percent and power module revenue grew 12 percent.
Some of the biggest benefits of power modules, which consist of several discrete power semiconductor devices, is that they provide higher power density and higher reliability, said IHS.
“OEMs will continue to want modular power solutions, which can be integrated easily into various subsystems and used in many different devices,” said Richard Eden, senior analyst of the semiconductor value chain for IHS Technology, in a statement. “Power modules are widely found in inverters for wind converters, photovoltaic solar energy systems and other renewable energy applications. They are also found in industrial motor drives and hybrid and electric vehicles.”
This could result in some challenges for the commodity discrete semiconductor segment. “Standardized discrete power semiconductors have become commoditized with little differentiation,” said Victoria Fodale, senior analyst of the semiconductor value chain for IHS Technology, in a statement. “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.”
A possible issue for buyers of power semiconductor is mergers & acquisitions, consolidating the supply base, which could potentially lead to pricing and availability issues. The report finds that Infineon continues to be the largest supplier in the global power semiconductor market in 2014, with an estimated market share of 13 percent, followed by Mitsubishi with a seven percent share, and STMicrosystems, with an estimated market share of six percent.
“With the acquisition of International Rectifier (IR) by Infineon last year, the market landscape for power semiconductors is changing,” said IHS. “The merged companies held almost 27 percent of the power transistor market in 2014. The transistor product category includes bipolar transistors, metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), and insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) products, accounting for about two thirds of the total discrete power semiconductor market.”
In the power module segment, Mitsubishi Electric was the largest supplier in 2014, with a market share of 24 percent, followed by Infineon, Semikron, and Fuji Electric. The top four power module suppliers accounted for 65 percent of the global power module market in 2014.