Outlook Improves for Power Transistors

June 29, 2016
The power transistor market is expected to see less volatility through 2020, due to growing demand for energy efficiency in systems

The power transistor market is expected to see less volatility through 2020, due to growing demand for energy efficiency in systems, cars, portable electronics, and new connections to the Internet of Things (IoT), according to a new report from industry researcher IC Insights.

After falling 7% in 2015 to $12.3 billion, power transistor sales are expected to stabilize and begin a modest recovery in 2016, growing by a little more than 1% to $12.4 billion, according to the researcher’s newest edition of its annual O-S-D Report—A Market Analysis and Forecast for Optoelectronics, Sensors/Actuators, and Discretes. The report forecasts a 3% rise in 2017 to $12.8 billion followed by 5% growth in 2018 to about $13.5 billion, matching the annual peak set in 2011.

Power transistors comprise more than half of the $21 billion discrete semiconductor market, according to IC Insights.

IC Insights said it expects power transistor sales to maintain a 4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) through 2020, but notes that it expects higher growth and less market volatility “because worldwide demand will continue to climb for greater energy efficiency in data center computers, industrial systems, home appliances, battery-operated portable electronics, automobiles, and the explosion of connections to the Internet of Things (IoT). Worldwide shipments of power transistors are now forecast to rise by a CAGR of 6.5%, reaching 71.1 billion units in 2020 compared to about 52.0 billion in 2015.”

Within the power transistor category, the strongest sales growth is expected in high voltage field-effect transistors (FETs) and insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) modules during the second half of this decade. The 2016 O-S-D Report shows sales of high-voltage (over 200V) FETs growing by a CAGR of 4.7% to $2.4 billion in 2020, while IGBT modules are expected to increase by an annual rate of 4% to $3.2 billion in five years, the researcher said.

Other projected 2015-2020 CAGR growth rates for power transistor product categories are: 3.7% for low-voltage FETs (under 200V) to $5.6 billion; 3.8% for discrete IGBT transistors to $1.1 billion; and 3.1% for bipolar junction transistors to $886 million in 2020.

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