Tight supply drives up power device sales

Tight supply drives up power device sales

Market news |
By Nick Flaherty

Sales of power transistors is set to grow 11% in 2022, driven by demand, according to the latest power market figures from IC Insights.

Despite declines in other areas, the power transistor market is expected to reach a sixth-straight record high of $24.5 billion this year, primarily because of the highest increase in the average selling price (ASP) for products in this large discrete semiconductor segment in more than a decade.

The ASP for power transistors is expected to rise 11% in 2022 after increasing 8% in 2021, according to the third-quarter update of The McClean Report service.

Last year, power transistor sales climbed 26% due to a 13% increase in unit shipments and bottlenecks in the expansion of production capacity that drove up the ASP.  The string of record-high sales for power transistors is projected to end in 2023 when revenues are forecast to drop 2% to $24.0 billion as a result of a slowdown in global economic growth next year and a 4% drop in the average selling price of devices.

The power transistor market is expected to begin another growth cycle in 2024, with annual sales steadily increasing through 2026 and hitting $28.9 billion, which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.5%, based on the 3Q22 Update outlook.

Power transistor prices have moved higher since 2021 when many system manufacturers began ramping up production after the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus pandemic and emergency lockdowns worldwide in 2020.

Tight supplies and shortages of power transistors and other widely used semiconductors have kept ASPs high in a number of manufacturing industrial sectors—especially in automotive and industrial equipment—despite recent slowdowns in economic growth, belt tightening by consumers and companies in response to high inflation, and rising interest rates initiated by the U.S. Federal Reserve to combat the risk of a full-blown recession. 

The projected 11% jump in the average selling price of power transistors is the highest percentage increase since the 2010 recovery year from the 2009 downturn that was triggered by the 2007-2008 financial crisis.  

In 2020, the power transistor ASP increased 11% to about $0.24.  Since then, the average selling price has grown at a CAGR of 3.3% to slightly over $0.35 this year.  Before the 8% increase in 2021 and the expected 11% rise this year, the ASP of power transistors had grown at a CAGR of just 2.1% in the 10 years before the start of the global Covid-19 virus crisis in 2020.

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