Databeans (www.databeans.net) projects that the global power management semiconductor market will decline slightly from 2011 to 2012. Shipment volumes will increase slightly, however. Databeans expects that both sales and units will rebound starting in 2013, and continue to increase in subsequent years.
Due to their ubiquitous nature, power management chips are seen as a good bellwether of general semiconductor industry health. Unfortunately, after a solid first half of the year in 2011, the power management market saw major declines beginning in the fourth quarter and continuing into the first half of 2012 thanks primarily to the lingering effects of the natural disasters in Japan and Thailand compounded with especially weak consumer spending.
Even so, the market for power management integrated circuits (PMICs) has started the beginnings of its recovery, driven primarily by stronger consumer confidence and an expansion in the industrial sector, namely, in alternative energy markets such as solar, wind, and geothermal.
Also helping this market considerably has been the fact that portable consumer devices, including tablets and smartphones, have maintained strong sales levels. These portable devices are particularly reliant on the latest generation of power management chips which are crucial in improving battery life, while reducing both device weight and size.
Finally, other important areas of growth for PMICs include voice and data networks, mobile infrastructure, and medical electronics.