Power management IC: many things are about to change…

Extracted from: Power Management IC: Technology, Industry and Trends Report – Yole Développement – November 2019


  • Many applications are pushing power management products.
  • Standard or specific PMIC: 300MM vs Technology design.


LYON, France – December 11, 2019: “At first sight, we would think that the power management segment is well established, with US$18,5 billion market in 2019, a well-known technology and confirmed players” says Ana Villamor, PhD. Technology & Market Analyst, Power Electronics & Compound Semiconductors at Yole Développement (Yole). “However, if we have an in-depth look at its current status, we see that many things are about to change. At Yole, we are convinced that the power management market is today driven by societal impacts and strategic decisions”.

In this dynamic context, the market research and strategy company launches a new dedicated power electronics report: Power Management IC: Technology, Industry and Trends. In this way, Yole’s analysts deliver a complete vision of the power electronics industry with a dedicate collection of reports including: Status of the Power Electronics Industry and Status of Rechargeable Li-ion Battery Industry. Thanks to their expertise, they provide a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the power management supply chain and ecosystem, an overview of the main applications for power management devices, or insights regarding key technology trends.
What is the status of the power management IC industry? How will this market evolve? What are its dynamics? What are the societal impacts and strategic decisions identified by Yole’s analysts? What are the changes we could expect in a near future?... Yole’s power electronics team invites you to discover the power management IC industry.

China is a good example to talk about societal impacts. The country has been experiencing an environmental conscience change for some time now. The decrease in CO2 emissions and in power consumption has become a major focus for the government, leading to big subventions for energy savings. Moreover, the country is also focused on increasing share of home-made (China-made) products.
Power management has become such an important piece of the puzzle leading to reduce power consumption,” comments Claire Troadec, Director of the Power & Wireless Division at Yole. “This move will also encourage an increased number of Chinese companies to implement their own PMICs.”
It is already the case at foundry level, where many Chinese fabs re-use their 8-inch equipment (before used for CMOS processes) for BCD processes.

On another hand, from a strategic decision point of view, Yole’s analysts refer to major company actions to further push their market share and revenue. For instance, the ownership of the technology by a major end-user is key for high performing products at an affordable cost.
This is the case of the recent licensing of Dialog Semiconductor products to Apple. In fact, Apple decided to stop buying their PMICs from Dialog Semiconductor. Instead, Apple invested about US$600 million to license the Dialog Semiconductor’s PMICs technology. This decision enables Apple to acquire step by step this key expertise. This strategic move allows Apple to enter the power management IC field and fine tune their products.
In the past, Apple did the same for other products that they use for their phones, tablets and laptops,” notes Ana Villamor from Yole. “So little by little the company is taking ownership and controlling their full supply chain.”

Furthermore, thanks to their investigations, Yole’s analysts assume that the power management products are differentiated by standard PMIC components (Vreg, Vsw, etc.) and specific PMICs (including various functionalities in a single IC ). The first market is highly competitive with a high focus on cost, whereas the second has a high focus on performance and energy savings.
According to Ana Villamor: “In the same scope of strategic decisions that we discussed earlier, in order to increase margin and benefit without acquiring a company, the shift to 300mm is another obvious choice for any big manufacturer that can afford it”.
This is the case for Texas Instruments or Infineon Technologies a few years ago with the shift to 300mm for BCD technologies. As an example, Infineon Technologies built a new 300mm fab in Villach, Austria. STMicroelectronics followed the same trend with a new new 300mm fab and ON Semiconductor, from its side, signed a new deal with Global Foundries’ 300mm fab.
Foundries are also using 300mm for PMICs, as is the case for TSMC, TowerJazz and UMC, who last year acquired Fuji’s 300mm. All these huge investments are not only focused on PMICs but on the full power product package. In this way, the “big fishes” will become even larger while small players will have to take other actions to retain a share of the market…
In this new power electronics report, Power Management IC, a global view of the landscape and the supply chain, including mergers and acquisitions, are detailed.

All year long, Yole Group of Companies publishes numerous reports including the Power Electronics reports collection, such as Status of the Power Electronics Industry 2019 and Status of Rechargeable Li-ion Battery Industry 2019.
Yole power electronics team will be part of APEC's program with valuable presentations. Make sure to save the date right now and visit us at our booth! For more information, please contact Léonor Martin. Stay tuned!

PMIC : Power Management Integrated Circuit
CMOS : Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor
IC : Integrated Circuit

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