Jonathon Eykyn, IHS Technology
The global market for power supplies crashed in 2012 as economic uncertainties led to low consumer demand and the postponement of large industrial projects. Whilst 2013 bought growth, it was limited to a few markets and the overall market grew by just 2.4%. However, the outlook for the global power supply market is much brighter in 2014 with the market growth projected at 4.4%.
Unlike 2013, this growth is projected to be across the board with strong growth forecast in nearly all applications. This growth will be driven by a couple of key factors. Firstly, a forecast uplift in end-equipment demand in the traditional power supply markets of telecommunications and industrial. There has been a higher business confidence across many industries despite some less than favorable economic conditions leading to postponed projects being restarted and new projects green-lighted.
The second factor is the meteoric growth of the emerging applications for power supplies. Demand for power supplies used in LED lighting and tablet PCs is projected to grow by more than 40% in terms of units shipped.
The datacomms sector is also set to grow strongly in 2014 with revenues for power supplies for servers and storage devices projected to increase by 4%. This is more than double the growth for 2013 and is driven by the need for continual refreshment of IT systems and the growth of cloud computing and associated data centers.
This growth in the market will also be spread across all three major regions. Asia continues to grow the fasted with revenues projected to grow by almost 5% in 2014. Revenue growth for both the Americas and the EMEA regions is forecast to more than triple after a weak 2012 where growth was estimated at just over 1% for both regions.
However, it is not a perfect outlook for the industry. The majority of the predicted growth by application and region will be driven by both the AC-DC commodity and non-commodity markets. The DC-DC converter market was the worst hit in 2012 and the market remained almost flat in 2013. It is forecast that overall revenue growth in the DC-DC market in 2014 will be at around 1% although unit shipments will grow by almost 4%. Part of the reason for the slower recovery of the DC-DC market is that many of the ‘hot’ applications that are helping to drive overall market growth at the moment such as LED lighting and tablets are predominately an AC-DC opportunity. The longer-term forecast for DC-DC converters is slightly better, with a average annual growth rate of 2% for the 2014-2017 period but this is still behind the rest of the global power supply market.