In a repeat victory, Texas Instruments Inc. last year remained the leading manufacturer of power management semiconductors after an important acquisition, commanding a full 10.0 percent share of market in a highly fragmented field of more than 100 suppliers, according to an IHS iSuppli Power Management Market Share and Supplier Analysis report from information and analytics provider IHS.
Mitsubishi, took the lead in power transistors over Infineon for the first time, and made the jump from eighth place in 2010 to No. 4 in 2011 with revenue growth of 52 percent—the highest in the Top 10. Mitsubishi’s leap displaced fellow Japanese firm Renesas Technology, which tumbled to fifth place, down from fourth.
With 2011 power management revenue of $3.18 billion, up a solid 25 percent from $2.54 billion a year earlier, TI easily held off French-Italian entity STMicroelectronics and Infineon Technologies of Germany, both unmoved from the second and third spots, respectively, that they held down in 2010 when TI was also at the top. STM had power management revenue of $2.25 billion, down from $2.29 billion—good enough for a 7.1 percent share of market. For its part, Infineon saw revenue climb to $2.09 billion, up from $2.00 billion, giving it a 6.6 percent market share last year.
The market for power management semiconductors includes products related specifically to the conversion, distribution and management of power in electronic systems. Among these products are power management integrated circuits like voltage regulators and references, as well as power interface ICs and application-specific power management ICs. Other important power management products are power discretes, such as power transistors greater than 1 watt, rectifiers greater than 0.5 amperes, and thyristors.
Together the most successful companies in the power management space grew even bigger during the year when counted as a collective. The Top 20 gained an additional 3.8 percentage points in market share during 2011—the result of companies deepening their penetration in areas requiring higher investments for new power management technologies, such as the automotive and industrial markets.
Acquisitions in the year also helped boost the standing of many of the acquiring companies. For instance, TI managed to grow its market share even more in 2011, adding 2 percentage points after it bought National Semiconductor. Arizona-based On Semiconductor crashed the Top 10 for the first time in 2011, landing in 10th, after its purchase of Sanyo.
The rest of the Top 10 includes in descending order: Toshiba of Japan, in sixth place; Maxim Integrated Products from California, in seventh; Fairchild Semiconductor, also from California, in eighth; and International Rectifier, likewise based in California, in ninth. The occupant of the 10th spot in 2010, Vishay Intertechnology from Pennsylvania, fell to 11th this year after losing its spot to On Semiconductor. Seven of the Top 10 were revenue gainers, while declines were posted by three companies—STM, Renesas and Toshiba.
All told, the market for power management semiconductors in 2011 amounted to $31.9 billion in revenue, up 1.8 percent from $31.3 billion in 2010. In comparison, the total semiconductor market last year declined by 1.4 percent. While the first half of 2011 delivered decent business for power management with respectable demand coming from the consumer and industrial segments, the second half proved dismal as demand disappeared. By then, the economies in Europe and Japan had soured, and spending incentives provided by the government in China had also expired.
The challenge to power management suppliers lies in how to stand out and remain profitable in a very tight and crowded field. During the 2008-09 downturn when consumer markets were hit hard, many power management suppliers tried to shift their market focus toward higher-value areas such as the industrial, automotive and communications sectors.
While that seemed like a good idea, all power management companies embarked on the same voyage. Compounding the problem, a number of forward-looking companies had made that transition sometime ago and were already strong in those high-value markets.
IHS iSuppli believes that the strategy to steer away from consumer-type markets toward high-value sectors needs to be reconsidered: There simply won’t be enough room for everyone to stay in business. And because the so-called high-value markets are also much smaller than the consumer space, the opportunities for profit are also more limited.
For power management companies, especially the smaller firms, to blindly follow such a uniform prescription in the quest for expansion could well prove a recipe for disaster.
Read More > 2011 Power Management Semiconductor Winners – TI, ON Semi, and Mitsubishi