New Report "Digital Power Electronics: Worldwide Forecasts, Third Edition" available through Aarkstore Enterprise

The digital power landscape is undergoing rapid change.

Online PR News – 16-September-2009 – – Topics covered include:

• Market Drivers for Digital Power Management and Control
• Market Share, Market Penetration Rates, and Product Life Cycle
• Worldwide Application Forecasts
• Worldwide Power Supply Forecasts for External AC-DC, Embedded AC-DC, DC-DC Modules, Embedded DC-DC, Telecom Rectifiers and External DC-DC, Lighting Ballasts, and Inverters
• Worldwide Digital IC Forecasts for Controller ICs, Converter Management ICs, and System Management ICs
• Implications of Digital Power for DC-DC Modules
• Price Parity for Digital Power ICs

The digital power landscape is undergoing rapid change. Adaptive controllers, parameter estimation and sophisticated control algorithms have become much more economically reasonable to implement in a variety of systems. But there is still a “perceived expense” of going digital, compared to using similar bandwidth analog components.

Although digital solutions are still primarily being used in high-performance applications, the pervasive emphasis on energy efficiency is pushing digital from high-end-only into the mainstream. Digital control is now implemented in just about all application segments, from catalog power supplies to power supplies used in medical, solid-state lighting and consumer devices. In some applications, digital penetration is already exceeding 50%.

With this broader implementation, along with expanded digital IC functionality, digital power management and control is entering a long-awaited “mainstream adoption” period. The next ten years will see increased use of digital control, as applications demand power functions for which digital is particularly suited.

Executive Summary

The digital power landscape is undergoing rapid change. Adaptive controllers, parameter estimation and sophisticated control algorithms have become much more economically reasonable to implement in a variety of systems. But there is still a “perceived expense” of going digital, compared to using similar bandwidth analog components. In certain applications, however, digital penetration is already exceeding 50%.

Projections of when digital power management and control will become a “mainstream” technology vary, from 2015 to 2018. Availability, standardization, longevity and customer-recognized value are considered requirements to be recognized as mainstream. Adding to a slower adoption rate is the current economic crisis that makes it more difficult for companies to raise money while trying to expand product offerings. Still, some of the smaller companies are shipping in the millions of quantities in markets/applications where the solution cost is at parity with competing analog solutions.

Major shifts in market share of each IC type have been occurring since 2005, and these are expected to continue through 2014. During the “emerging years” of digital (2005-2008), sales were less differentiated between IC types, particularly for ac-dc power supplies and dc-dc modules. Beginning in 2009, however, we expect changes in the market that will alter the mix more quickly through the remainder of the forecast period. These shifts can be analyzed as part of the traditional “Product Life Cycle Curve,” with digital power just entering the “Growth” phase, and Maturity expected around 2014.

The worldwide digital IC market (including controller ICs, converter ICs and system management ICs) is expected to grow from over 5 billion units in 2009 to 12.3 billion units in 2014, a compound annual growth rate of 19.8%. This will be spread out over a diverse market of power supplies, including external ac-dc and embedded ac-dc power supplies, dc-dc modules, embedded dc-dc converters, telecom rectifiers and external dc-dc, lighting ballasts and inverters. Price declines will only begin to slow by 2013, so dollar sales will experience a healthy growth rate of just over 29% up to this point.

External AC-DC and Lighting Ballasts, in particular, are large markets that are gaining market share, or at least holding their own. Together, these segments will account for 57% of the Digital Power Supply unit market in 2009, increasing to 61% in 2014. Lighting Ballasts will also help drive the sales of digital Converter ICs, which although losing share to Controller ICs, are still expected to be a good-sized market.

Although digital solutions are still primarily being used in high-performance applications, the pervasive emphasis on energy efficiency is pushing digital from high-end-only into the mainstream. Digital control is now implemented in just about all application segments, from catalog power supplies to power supplies used in medical, solid-state lighting and consumer devices. It is still rare to find a “pure digital solution,” however.

In addition, power architectures are evolving, with the Centralized Control Architecture (CCA) being used increasingly in higher-end applications, particularly communications and server systems. The use of power factor correction (PFC), MicroTCA, Power-over-Ethernet (PoE), and multi-phase converters is also driving the adoption of digital control solutions.

The digital IC market is responding to these application-driven trends with some shifts of its own. Although Converter Management ICs will remain the largest cumulative Digital IC segment over the forecast period, they are expected to slowly lose share to Controller ICs and System Management ICs, due to the “merging” of digital functions. Converter Management ICs are located within the individual power converters and handle monitoring and communications functions between the converter and the board-level power management ICs. Many of these functions are increasingly being handled by system management ICs external to the power supply. This is a major shift in system design, which will lead to fewer “Converter Management” ICs and more “System Management” ICs.

With broader implementation in applications, along with expanded digital IC functionality, digital power management and control is entering a long-awaited “mainstream adoption” period. The next ten years will see increased use of digital control, as applications demand power functions for which digital is particularly suited.

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