The high growth rate of 2010 was sustained in the first half of 2011, but demand started to tail off in the second quarter
The power semiconductor discrete and module market reported a growth by a more modest 9% to just under $18bn in 2011 after a spectacular recovery in 2010, according to a new report from IMS Research.
When the Euro crisis hit in August, global business confidence took a knock and the market slowed in the third quarter and then declined sharply in the fourth, largely due to a prolonged inventory correction.
The Power Semiconductor Discretes and Modules report, revealed that the market for power modules rose by 32% in 2011, much faster than that for discrete power semiconductors, which grew only 3%.
The main drivers of the power module revenues were solar energy, car production and consumer appliances.
IMS said discrete semiconductors are used in faster-moving goods like televisions and notebook & desktop computers, so their sales respond quickly to changes in consumer confidence.
Infineon remained the leading supplier of power discretes and modules, against a background of pricing challenges and fluctuating demand and lead-times, and other manufacturers whose market share grew included power module specialists Mitsubishi Electric, Fuji Electric and Semikron.
IMS Research Power Management & Conversion Group senior market analyst Richard Eden said Infineon further cemented its leadership in IGBTs and was the fastest growing supplier in the power MOSFET market.
"Mitsubishi Electric maintained market leadership in power modules, enabling it to narrow the gap with Infineon in the total market," Eden added.
According to IMS Research, for the second year running, Japanese manufacturers benefitted from the strengthening value of the Yen, which inflated their revenue share in terms of US dollars, and now account for 51% of the power module market, up from 48% in 2010.