After roller coaster growth rates since the 2008 recession, the global power transistor market is expected to make a modest recovery, starting in 2016, according to the latest research from IC Insights. Over the next three years, sales are expected to reach record-high levels thanks to greater demand for energy efficiency and new connections to the Internet of Things (IoT).
Currently, the power transistor segment accounts for about $12 billion in the $21 billion discrete semiconductor market, according to IC Insights. After posting significant growth in 2010, along with other electronic component segments, the power transistor market has faced an uphill growth battle.
Although global revenues in this market continue to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of about four percent, sales have dropped in three of the last five years due to “economic uncertainty and quick cancellation of purchase orders by systems makers whenever they see signs of demand weakening for end-use electronic products,” according to IC Insights’ 2016 O-S-D Report—A Market Analysis and Forecast for Optoelectronics, Sensors/Actuators, and Discretes.
However, power transistor sales are forecast to stabilize and grow a little more than one percent in 2016, reaching $12.4 billion, after declining by seven percent to $12.3 billion in 2015. The market will continue to show strength over the next two years, increasing three percent ($12.8 billion) in 2017 followed by five percent growth ($13.5 billion) in 2018.
IC Insights’ analysts expect power transistor sales to grow by a CAGR of 3.9 percent between 2015 and 2020, reaching $14.8 billion in 2020. Analysts expect “much less volatility” due to growing demand for energy efficiency in several sectors including data center computers, industrial systems, home appliances, battery-operated portable electronics, automobiles, and IoT connections.
In terms of shipments, power transistors are expected to increase by a CAGR of 6.5 percent, reaching 71.1 billion units in 2020, up from 52 billion units in 2015.
However, market researcher Technavio pegs revenue growth at a slightly higher pace, growing at a CAGR of more than five percent, and exceeding $18 billion by 2020. Similarly, the market researcher sees growth in three major segments - automotive, consumer electronics (including computers, televisions, smartphones, micro inverters, air conditioners, washing machines, and refrigerators), and power/energy management.
The biggest growth segments for power transistors, according to IC Insights, include high voltage field-effect transistors (FETs) and insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) modules. Sales of high-voltage (over 200V) FETs is forecast to grow by a CAGR of 4.7 percent, reaching $2.4 billion in 2020. IGBT modules are projected to increase by a CAGR of four percent, reaching $3.2 billion by 2020.
IC Insights also expects low-voltage FETs (under 200V) to grow by a CAGR of 3.7 percent, reaching $5.6 billion, followed by discrete IGBT transistors at a 3.8 percent CAGR, reaching $1.1 billion, and bipolar junction transistors at 3.1 percent, reaching $886 million in 2020.