Industrial & Consumer Demands

Reported by Cliff Keys, Editorial Director & Editor-in-Chief, Power Systems Design


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In the European industrial arena, meeting customer demands means designers need to employ complex, high density ICs to provide differentiated features in many products now hitting the market. Increasingly, these ICs and systems need multiple rails with a corresponding increase in the complexity of system power management. The use of digital power to manage these supplies, for example, is becoming increasingly important. Power Systems Design's current themed is on this fast growing and broad-based part of the power industry. PSD features its APEC show report, in our web community section for our readers who could not get there. This year the show was staged in Florida, which was a lot warmer than Munich where I am based, at this time of year! Chip inventories held by semiconductor suppliers are reported to have declined in the third quarter of 2011, putting a halt to the steady expansion of the previous seven quarters, as the industry cut production in order to reduce oversupply. As calculated by the days of inventory (DOI) measure, semiconductor stockpiles in the third quarter stood at 81 days, down a modest 2.5% from 83 days in the second quarter, according to an IHS iSuppli Inventory Insider report from information and analysis provider HIS. The DOI level had been on the rise since the third quarter of 2009 when it stood at just 65 days—a time when stockpiles were low because production had been reduced during the dark days of the recession. On the consumer side, in a shift that marks a permanent changing of the technological guard, television sets using LED backlighting have taken the lead in the U.S. flat-panel TV market, eclipsing rival sets featuring cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs). Shipments of LED-backlit liquid crystal display (LCD) televisions amounted to 4.09 million units in the third quarter, compared to shipments of 3.85 million units for sets featuring the formerly dominant CCFL technology, according to from information and analysis provider IHS. LED and CCFL are the two technologies used for backlighting LCD televisions, but the third quarter marks the first time that LED assumed a larger portion of the market at 44%, compared to 41% for CCFL. The remaining 15% of the market is represented by plasma TV sets, which do not require backlights. Certainly there are interesting times ahead. All the best, Cliff Editorial Director & Editor-in-Chief, Power Systems Design