Growth forecast for power supply and management IC market Natick, Massachusetts–The global market for power supply and power management ICs will exceed US$5.2 billion in 2000, according to Venture Development Corp. (VDC), a Natick, Massachusetts-based market research firm, which now is forecasting that the market will grow at an average rate of more than 18% over the next 5 years. VDC recently completed the 2000 update of their market study covering these products, ‘The Global Market for Power Supply and Power Management Integrated Circuits,’ which includes voltage regulator and controller ICs, PFC pre-regulator ICs, and battery-charging, protection, and fuel gauge ICs. Tactical and strategic maneuvers that enlarge a firm’s market share will further accelerate the market’s growth, VDC reports. VDC found that during the past few years, mergers, acquisitions, and spin-offs have altered the competitive landscape for power supply and power management ciruits. “Some of these changes (e.g. Infineon, On Semi, and Intersil) were designed to enable a higher degree of focus on certain semiconductor product categories,” explains Mark Gaboriault, director of VDC’s power conversion and control practice. “Others (e.g. Fairchild, On Semi/Cherry, and TI) are based more on pure acquisitive motives. The question therefore arises, whether it is a more appropriate strategy in this industry to focus on developing technology internally, obtaining technology through acquisition, or a combination of the two.” Since 1998, internal development and/or acquisitions have resulted in impressive growth rates for power management IC revenue among the top vendors. “Although there are more than 60 participants in this market, the ’80/20 rule’ applies–as approximately 80% of 2000 revenues are attributed to the top 20% of the manufacturers,” says VDC analyst Nathan Andrews. This demonstrates the relative dominance of the larger vendors, according to VDC, especially in high volume/ high growth applications.