Module Market Embraces Robust Long-Term Forecasts

Module Market Embraces Robust Long-Term Forecasts

Analysts predict that the discrete and power-module global market is set to grow by $10 billion, reaching $25.5 billion in 2015, giving those in the industry a much-welcomed confidence boost. The market saw a 40% recovery in 2010, and despite declining demand in the second half of 2011, the longer-term prospects are considered to be very positive, says IMS Research.

According to IMS’ report “The World Market for Power Semiconductor Discretes & Modules,” the power-semiconductor module market grew faster than discrete power semiconductors in 2010, increasing by 58% to $3.5 million. Industry growth continued during 2011.

In the short term, power-module market growth is being driven by the industrial motor drive, renewable energy, induction heating and welding, and consumer sectors. All grew faster than the overall market in 2010.

The discrete power market was valued at $12.3 billion in 2010, rising 37%. Although growth is predicted to slow considerably in 2011, the market should exceed $19 billion in 2015. In particular, demand for discrete IGBTs helped the industry continue its ramp up this year. The sudden surge in discrete IGBT demand was fueled by industrial and renewable energy applications, as well as domestic appliances like room air conditioning and variable-speed washing machines for the Chinese market.

Demand is expected to remain consistently strong for consumer applications, particularly in China and other Asian territories. Fueling this upswing, no doubt, is China’s Five Year Plan, which launched legislation to cut electricity consumption through improved power efficiency. Increased energy efficiency in motor-vehicle and industrial applications is another market driver.

Here in Europe, the report revealed that German chipmaker Infineon saw its market share rise by 7.8% in the discrete and power module industry sector. The company says it now has 10.2% share.

Renewable energy is forecast to be the fastest growing sector. IMS anticipates a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 18.2%, led by wind- and solar-power installations.

Leading the charge in the solar-power/photovoltaic (PV) arena are MOSFETs used in microinverters and rectifiers for solar panels. Though introduced only two to three years ago, commercially viable microinverters have nonetheless stimulated high demand, particularly in North America.

Looking at PV modules, the three largest suppliers (in Q2 2011, according to IMS Research) hail from China: Suntech, Trina Solar, and Yingli. They collectively grew their shipments by almost 20% over the previous quarter despite difficult market conditions. In fact, due to the oversupply of PV modules, some suppliers were able to capitalise on robust brand images and competitive pricing to increase market share during that period.

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