Power Management Chip Market Rebounds in Q2 Thanks to Tablets and Smartphones

By Tony Rizzo September 07, 2012

The market for power management semiconductors has spent the last six months prior to Q2 2012 in a state of decline. The market had declined 10.7 percent in Q4 2011, and followed that with a four percent contraction in revenue in Q1 2012. IHS iSuppli's new Power Management Market Tracker report paints a much happier picture for Q2 2012, however.

Global revenue for power management semiconductors is preliminarily estimated to reach $7.9 billion in the second quarter, which represents a non-trivial 9.7 percent increase from $7.2 billion in the first quarter. More likely than not, the second quarter recovery is due to strong demand from electronic products, and more specifically from smartphones and media tablets, according to the iSuppli report. 

Image via Shutterstock

Just as important as the actual revenue gains that were made in Q2, the revenue gain strongly suggests that there will be a hugely needed reverse of the inventory buildup that had accumulated in the channel over the previous three quarters - which can be traced to an overall consumer spending slowdown amid continuing economic uncertainties.

Looking ahead, Q3 and Q4 2012 should continue to show improved growth curves. The second half of the year is the market's busy selling season - when consumers typically begin to buy again as school kicks in, companies return to more active business cycles following the summer, and especially as the holiday buying season kicks in and then kicks into high gear. Overall, 2012 power management revenue is anticipated to reach $32.4 billion.

 “While lack of demand was to blame for dismal performance in the previous two quarters, a pickup in the market for power management chips in consumer-type products is believed to have returned the market to growth in the second quarter,” notes Marijana Vukicevic, senior principal analyst for power management at IHS. "The products responsible for fueling growth include mobile handsets, media tablets, personal computers and other consumer electronic items, such as digital still cameras. In these devices, efficient power management is becoming much more important to consumers—a significant feature given that electronic devices are almost never shut off or powered down anymore."

Mobile Makes the Long-term Forecast Optimistic

Consumer markets are expected to regain some vigor starting in 2013, while growth will continue uninterrupted in the industrial and alternative energy sectors traditionally home to a strong power management revenue base. While this year will end with a very modest projected pickup of 1.7 percent after nearly flat growth in 2010, the years ahead will see a boost in the power management space.

The largest expansion over the next five years, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) until 2016 of nearly 30 percent, will come from the use of power management semiconductors in media tablets such as the iPad from Apple Inc. Other important market-boosting devices include mobile handsets, with an 11.7 percent CAGR during the same five-year period; mobile infrastructure, with 13.1 percent; and digital set-top boxes, with 12.3 percent. Low-voltage metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFET) will also be another power management device with strong growth prospects, resulting from its use in appliances, media tablets and mobile infrastructure.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

TechZone360 Senior Editor

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