Power Electronics

Data Points

Study Predicts Steady Growth For Internal AC-DC Switchers

According to Venture Development Corp. (VDC), worldwide shipments of merchant internal ac-dc switching power supplies will grow at nearly 9% annually through 2011, with the Asia-Pacific markets accounting for the fastest growth by region. Those findings and others are published in VDC's recently issued report, “Switching Power Supplies: Global Market Demand Analysis, 12th edition.”

VDC reports that shipments of the internal ac-dc switching power supplies accounted for close to $6.3 billion in revenue last year and are expected to grow to $9.5 billion in 2011. That represents a compounded annual growth rate of 8.7%. In 2006, more than half of the switching power-supply revenue — $3.5 billion — was associated with shipments to Asia-Pacific, making that the largest major regional market, according to VDC. The region is also forecast by VDC to be the fastest growing, at a compounded annual rate of 9.3%.

The report identifies computers and office automation as the largest application segment for the switching power supplies (see the figure). This segment will also be the fastest-growing segment, capturing an increasingly larger share of worldwide shipments of these power supplies. In contrast, the share of total worldwide shipments of switching power supplies used in communication products will decrease slightly through 2011, according to VDC. However, communication products will remain the second-largest application segment.

For more information, see www.vdc-corp.com/pow/psic.asp or contact Brian Greenberg, senior analyst at [email protected].

UPS Market Achieved Huge Revenue Spike in 2006

The worldwide UPS market recorded massive revenue growth in 2006, expanding by close to 20%, according to the latest statistics from IMS Research. A recent IMS Research report, “The Market for UPS 2007 — Worldwide,” found that the UPS market continued to surge in the fourth quarter of 2006, with Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) seeing the most significant growth, outstripping both Asia and the Americas.

“Weakened revenue growth was seen at the start of 2006. However, for the last nine months of the year, the market achieved unprecedented growth, with virtually all major suppliers experiencing strong demand and increased sales,” observed Ash Sharma, a senior market analyst with the market research firm.

“The EMEA market continues to surprise UPS suppliers with its rapid growth, as it is typically associated with conservative growth patterns. It now represents a much more significant portion of the overall market,” noted Michael Markides, a market analyst with IMS Research and coauthor of the 2007 report.

With an outlook on the future that is positive, and based on 2006 results, the considerable merger and acquisition activity that has taken place in the UPS market is not surprising, IMS Research reports. Schneider Electric, owner of MGE UPS, recently completed the acquisition of market leader APC. Collectively, IMS Research estimates that these two companies controlled close to 40% of the UPS market in 2006.

For more information, see www.imsresearch.com.

Micro-Fuel Cells for Handheld Consumer Electronics to Grow Ninefold in Five Years

Micro-fuel cells are likely to see massive growth rates in the next five years, according to a new report from Innovative Research and Products (iRAP). The report, “Micro Fuel Cells for Handheld Consumer Electronic Products — A Global Industry Market Analysis,” estimates the 2006 market was about $12 million and that the market will reach $112 million by 2011, an annual average growth rate (AAGR) of 55.7%.

According to iRAP, portable digital assistants will show the highest growth rate, reaching 89.8% of AAGR, followed by camcorders, chargers and other consumer electronics at 83.7% and mobile phone applications at 50.7%. Direct methanol fuel cells will capture the largest share, followed by hydrogen-based fuels cells and fuel cells using proprietary fuels, iRAP forecasts. According to the report, in 2006, North America had the largest share of the market, followed by Europe and Japan. By 2011, however, iRAP predicts that the North American market will decline to 57%, while the Japanese market will increase to 25%, overtaking Europe's second-place position.

For additional information, visit www.innoresearch.net.

DOT Issues Safety Advisory on Batteries

Air travelers flying with the types of batteries used in cell phones, laptops and other portable electronics should take precautions to reduce the risk of fires on aircraft, according to a new safety advisory released by the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT's) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The agency said it was concerned by two recent battery incidents on board commercial aircraft.

According to the advisory, passengers should keep spare batteries in their original retail packaging and keep loose batteries covered with insulating tape to protect them from contact with metal objects. Passengers are also advised to place each battery in its own protective case, plastic bag or package, and pack spare batteries in carry-on rather than checked baggage. In addition, passengers should use only chargers designed for the battery type and take steps to prevent crushing, puncturing or dropping batteries.

The agency noted that it is moving forward with proposals to enhance battery safety requirements, particularly with respect to testing, labeling and packaging standards.

For more information, see http://safetravel.dot.gov.

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