A new report from IHS suggests that the global market for semiconductors used in home appliance products will see growth rates rise by nearly double this year compared to 2012. Total semiconductor revenue for major home appliances will reach an estimated $2.6 billion by the end of the year, up from $2.3 billion in 2012. The market is pegged to grow more than 12 percent this year, almost twice the 6.8 percent rise posted in 2012.
Double-digit increases will continue in 2014 and 2015, after which growth is expected to settle down to a still impressive 9 percent during the following two years. By 2017, semiconductor revenue for this market will be worth $3.8 billion.
“The strong performance of the major home appliances industry is fuelling a similar trend in the semiconductor market,” said Dinesh Kithany, senior analyst for home appliance research at IHS. “Just as consumer have been spending more freely on major home appliances, the semiconductor market for appliances is being pulled along in corresponding healthy fashion, also supported by an increase in the use of electronics in these devices.”
Power semiconductors will be the largest and fastest-growing chip segment within the forecast period, with 12 percent annual growth projected from 2012 to 2017. In particular, IGBT modules (IPMs – Intelligent Power Modules) and insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBT) discretes will be in high demand, due to the increasing use of inverter-based variable-speed motor control technology. The inverter-based technology increases energy efficiency by controlling the speed of the motor and also helps in reducing noise levels during an appliance’s operation.
While 8-bit micros will dominate the microcontrollers market, 32-bit versions will grow quickest from 2012 to 2017, thanks to their intensified use in electronic displays, touch controls, sensors and inverter-based technology within major home appliances. Total microcontroller revenue will reach an estimated $700 million by the end of 2013.
Among appliances, room air conditioners and washing machines are the largest users of semiconductors, accounting for more than 60 percent of the industry’s chip revenue in 2013.
Other growth drivers for the major home appliance semiconductor trade include the widening use of electronic displays, touch controls and sensor technology; an increased need for better power management; and the adoption of smart grids or smart-meters as well as networked or connected appliances as major home appliance suppliers sharpen focus on product innovation and marketing initiatives.