Twelfth-Edition D2D Report Includes Digital Power Analysis

February 17, 2014 by Jeff Shepard

Darnell Group has recently completed an extensive analysis of the market for dc-dc converter modules including both isolated and non-isolated converters. The findings are detailed in "Worldwide DC-DC Converter Module Forecasts: Power Architectures, Product Types, Voltage Trends and Applications" and include extensive analysis of the use of digital power in these markets. While digital power is an established, not an emerging, technology, it is still growing much faster than the overall dc-dc market. You can find more information here.

Over 85 tables and graphs are presented in this report covering the dc-dc converter module power supply market for 24 applications. The report details all aspects of the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) market. The focus of this comprehensive analysis is to provide decision makers with a detailed and insightful look at the current and future opportunities available in the dc-dc converter module power supply market.

The dc-dc converter module power supply market is projected to see considerable growth over the next five years, with the dollar market increasing from $3.9 billion in 2014 to almost $5.0 billion in 2019, a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.9%. Fueled by healthy growth in a number of traditional applications including the communications, computer and industrial sectors as well as the emergence of several new and innovative power architectures, the outlook for the dc-dc converter module power supply market is expected to remain strong over the forecast period.

One of the driving forces in this year’s edition is the emergence of digital power management and control. No longer considered an “emerging” technology, it has entered the mainstream and is now widely considered to be a commercial product and is now used in a growing number of applications. In fact, in one of the more interesting findings in this report, the unit market for dc-dc converter modules with digital capability is projected to grow three and a half times as fast as the overall dc-dc converter module unit market. This higher growth rate varies by application segment and by product type and is detailed in this report.

Another important factor in the growth of the dc-dc converter market over the next several years is the emergence of several new architectures including the Centralized Control Architecture (CCA) and the Dynamic Bus Architecture (DBA), both of which are expected to have a strong impact on the design of dc-dc converters. However, despite the projected growth of these new power architectures, the Intermediate Bus Architecture (IBA) is expected to remain the dominate force driving the sales of dc-dc converter modules over the forecast period.

Specific forecasts presented in this edition are based on a detailed quantitative analysis of 24 applications divided among five categories: communications, computers, industrial, medical and military/aerospace. Additional power supply forecasts are generated for wattage, input/output voltage, amperage, power architecture, digital penetration and product type. The forecasts and analysis presented in this report consider application drivers, technology trends, regulatory considerations, market sizes and other factors for each segment.

The communications power supply segment is expected to have the largest dollar and unit markets over the forecast period. Led by applications in the wireline sector, which will record the largest individual dollar market covered in this report, along with the wireless and consumer premises sectors, the communications segment will make up over one-third of the total dc-dc converter module dollar market over the forecast period.

Combined, the communications and computer segments are projected to make up over 75.0% of the overall dc-dc converter module unit market over the forecast period. In addition, both of these segments are also expected to benefit from the growing trend towards digital power management and control. In fact both of these areas are considered early digital power adopters, as applications in each segment such as telecom and servers both draw lots of power and feature sophisticated and/or complicated power management structures.

Although projected to be the slowest growing dollar market, the industrial segment is expected to grow from $1.0 billion in 2014 to $1.2 billion in 2019, a CAGR of 3.6%. In general, the power supplies used in this section are higher-wattage and more expensive than those found in most of the other sectors covered in this section, resulting in a large dollar market. In order to compete in the industrial power supply market, power supply companies must design products that have long life spans, with reliability an especially important component.

Another area to watch in the dc-dc converter market are advances in technology, components and materials, in particular advanced semiconductor materials such as Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN). In fact, considerable focus in the power industry is on the emergence of these two materials, both of which are expected to have an impact on the dc-dc power supply markets over the coming years. In the short term SiC is expected to be the primary replacement technology for traditional silicon power devices, while GaN seeks initial commercial traction in applications with breakdown voltages of less than < 600V and power requirements of less than 5kW.