The global power module market is projected to comprise nearly one third (30 percent) of the power semiconductor market by 2019, growing at twice the rate of power discretes, from 2014 to 2019. The overall power semiconductor market, including both power discretes and power modules, is predicted to grow 5 percent in 2015 to reach $17 billion. In 2014, year-over-year power discrete revenue grew 5 percent and power module revenue grew 12 percent, according to IHS Inc.
Power modules contain multiple discrete power semiconductor devices. Compared to discrete power semiconductors, power module packages provide higher power density and more reliability, according to the latest Power Semiconductor Discretes and Modules Report from IHS Technology
“OEMs will continue to want modular power solutions, which can be integrated easily into various subsystems and used in many different devices,” said Richard Eden, senior analyst of the semiconductor value chain for IHS Technology. “Power modules are widely found in inverters for wind converters, photovoltaic solar energy systems and other renewable energy applications. They are also found in industrial motor drives and hybrid and electric vehicles.”
“Standardized discrete power semiconductors have become commoditized with little differentiation,” said Victoria Fodale, senior analyst of the semiconductor value chain for IHS Technology. “OEMs and ODMs typically multisource discrete products through distributors. Suppliers will continue to face challenges, when it comes to increasing profit in commodity segments of the power discrete market.”
Supplier M&A causes market share shakeup
Infineon continued to be the largest supplier for the global power semiconductor market in 2014, with an estimated market share of 13 percent. Mitsubishi ranked second, at 7 percent. STMicrosystems moved up to the third market position, displacing Toshiba, with an estimated market share of 6 percent.
With the acquisition of International Rectifier (IR) by Infineon last year, the market landscape for power semiconductors is changing. The merged companies held almost 27 percent of the power transistor market in 2014. The transistor product category includes bipolar transistors, metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs), and insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) products, accounting for about two thirds of the total discrete power semiconductor market.
Mitsubishi Electric was the largest supplier for power modules in 2014, although the company’s estimated share of the market remained at 24 percent for 2013 and 2014. Infineon maintained the second-ranked position at 20 percent. The top four power module suppliers – Mitsubishi, Infineon, Semikron and Fuji Electric – accounted for 65 percent of the global power module market in 2014.