DC/DC Switching Regulators Exceed $350 Million in American Market


A new market study by Natick, Mass.-based Venture Development Corporation (VDC) is worthy of notice by consulting engineers who design data and telecommunication centers. The study finds that DC/DC switching regulator shipments in the Americas exceeded $350 million in 2004.

Moreover, consumption is highly concentrated in three markets—computer and office automation, consumer electronics and telecom/datacom—because point of load (POL) regulation is common. DC/DC POLs is the fastest-growing product category in the DC/DC market, driven by the increased use of distributed power and intermediate bus architectures.

IC Switching Regulators Major Applications in Americas

(Percent of Dollars)

2004 Total: $350.8 Million

Computer and Office Automation: 30.2%

Consumer Electronics: 28.2%

Telecom/Datacom: 22.6%

Industrial Control: 5.0%

Auto Electronics: 4.6%

Instrumentation: 4.3%

Merchant Power Supply: 4.2%

MIL/Aerospace: 0.8%

General Automation: 0.1%

Other: 0.2%

In the data and telecommunications markets, much of the growth was a result of postponed projects from prior years as carriers upgraded their telecommunications infrastructures that were either obsolete or in need of maintenance. Wireless infrastructure is required to support the growth of developing countries such as China and India. China has been the fastest-growing telecommunications market in the world over the past few years and is expected to continue to grow approximately 14% annually. The country added approximately 60 million new wireless subscribers in 2003.

“The increasing popularity of battery-operated mobile devices such as notebook PCs and cellular phones is driving the growth of IC DC/DC switching regulators,” says Peter Walsh, senior analyst at VDC. “Users of mobile devices are demanding more functions, but with lower power consumption. Therefore, the development of more efficient regulators is the most important advance in DC/DC switching regulators.DC/DC manufacturers are addressing the need for higher efficiency by raising the switching frequency, powering only to meet the load requirements, and integrating the FETs more closely.”

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