Reduced consumer demand in 2012 drags down power semiconductor business says analyst

September 27, 2013 // By Julien Happich
Market research firm IHS reported that the global revenue in the power semiconductor business dropped by nearly 16%t in 2012 as sluggish consumer demand hit the sector. Falling pricing and other factors also contributed to undercut the market.

Despite a healthy growth during the previous year, market revenue in 2012 for power semiconductor discretes and modules fell to slightly less than $15 billion, down from nearly $18 billion in 2011.

The module segment of the market contracted by 27%, a much steeper decrease than for discrete power semiconductors, which declined by about 12%.

“The drop in the power semiconductor market in 2012 was fuelled by a deceleration in consumer spending in the United States and Europe, coupled with a slowdown in energy initiatives in Asia,” explains Victoria Fodale, senior semiconductor market analyst for IHS. “Furthermore, weakness in the consumer, industrial and automotive segments early in 2012 depressed pricing, helping set the stage for a weak year overall.”

The second quarter of 2012 failed to generate growth as demand for consumer products continued to drop in all regions of the world. The limited demand also had an influence on average selling prices, pressuring suppliers to make reductions.

Despite the market slowdown in 2012, Infineon remained the leading supplier of power semiconductor discretes and modules. The company held an 11.8% share of global market revenue, almost unchanged from 12%t in 2011. Infineon led No. 2 player Toshiba Corp. by 4.7 percentage points.

“Infineon maintained its leadership in the total discrete market and in the discrete insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) segments,” Fodale said. “The company also continued to increase its share in the power MOSFET space.”

Toshiba attained the second strongest growth among the Top 10 players with growth of 0.6 percentage points. No. 3 Mitsubishi Electric maintained leadership in power modules, although the company’s share of the market declined. ON Semiconductor achieved a more than 1 percentage point increase in share in 2012, partially driven by its acquisition of Sanyo.