The global market for power semiconductors fell 2.6 percent to $34 billion in 2015, the report says. Discrete power semiconductor product revenue declined 10.1 percent, while power module revenues decreased by 11.4 percent and power integrated-circuit (IC) revenues increased by 4.5 percent overall.
The report identifies Infineon Technologies as last year's leading power semiconductor manufacturer, with 12 percent of the market, Texas Instruments with 11 percent and STMicroelectronics with 6 percent. "While Texas Instruments previously led the market in 2014, the company was overtaken by Infineon Technologies in 2015, following its acquisition of International Rectifier and LS Power Semitech," said Richard Eden, senior analyst, IHS Markit.
"Infineon was the leading global supplier of both discrete power semiconductors and power modules, and the fourth-largest supplier of power management ICs," Eden said. "Infineon has been the leading supplier of discretes for several years, but overtook Mitsubishi Electric to lead the power module market for the first time in 2015, again, due to the International Rectifier and LS Power Semitech acquisitions."
According IHS Markit, while Infineon Technologies' acquisition of International Rectifier was the largest acquisition last year, several other deals also changed the terrain of the power semiconductor market landscape. Key deals in 2015 included the following: MediaTek acquired RichTek; Microchip acquired Micrel; NXP Semiconductors acquired Freescale Semiconductor; NXP Semiconductors also created WeEn Semiconductors, a joint venture with Beijing JianGuang Asset Management Co. Ltd (JAC Capital); CSR Times Electric merged with China CNR Corporation to form CRRC Times Electric; and ROHM Semiconductor acquired Powervation.
"Companies were active in acquisitions for several reasons - especially the low financing cost in multiple regions of the world, which meant that borrowing rates in the United States and European Central bank were nearly zero," said Jonathan Liao, senior analyst, IHS Markit. "In addition, the acquiring company typically increases its revenues and margins by taking the acquired company's existing customers and sales without incurring marketing, advertising and other additional costs.