The power semiconductor discrete and module market bounced back from 2009’s downturn and grew by 43% in 2010 due to a year of recovery, according to a new report released by IMS Research.

Against a background of burgeoning demand, delivery challenges and extending lead-times, Infineon retained the No. 1 spot as largest supplier of power discretes and modules according to the market analyst. Infineon was the largest market share gainer in the power MOSFET market and extended its leadership position in IGBTs. Other manufacturers with growing market shares included Power Module specialists Mitsubishi and Fuji Electric, with STMicroelectronics, International Rectifier and Vishay also gaining share in power discretes.

According to IMS Research’s new report following the decline in 2009, the overall discrete power semiconductor and Power Module market grew by 43% to just under $16 billion in 2010, almost $2 billion higher than its 2008 peak. The research firm found that the main drivers of growth were industrial motor drives, automotive and computer and office equipment. The applications have one thing in common: the adoption of the latest devices to improve power conversion efficiency.

“2010 saw rapidly rising IGBT sales in the Chinese market for use in domestic appliances such as room air-conditioning and variable speed washing machines” commented Richard Eden, Senior Market Analyst in the Power & Energy Group at IMS Research. “Again, the driver for this market growth is the shift from inefficient equipment to inverterised replacements.”

The power module market grew by 65% in 2010, which is faster than discrete power semiconductors. This was fuelled by the recovering industrial motor drive market and a rapid expansion of inverter production for renewable energy applications. IGBT module sales boomed on the back of a wave of industrial motor drive installations in new factories, the construction of which had been delayed by the recession. Sales of power modules in renewable energy inverters grew by a staggering 98% as countries rushed to install solar PV systems. Mitsubishi gained market share to retain the No 1 spot, ahead of Infineon, Semikron and the fast-rising Fuji Electric.