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Digital power management ICs offer cost, energy savings

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The market for digital power management integrated circuits (ICs) will receive a huge boost as various industries focus on improving energy efficiency in their power electronics.

Suppliers are reacting to this demand by releasing new products that guarantee energy savings through enhanced power efficiency, greater design flexibility and larger available board space for design through component integration.
New analysis from global growth consulting company Frost & Sullivan inds that the worldwide digital power management ICs market earned revenues of $161,7-million in 2007 and estimates this to reach $266,5-million in 2011.
Greater demand for processing power and data storage is driving the introduction of digital technology in servers with higher power density. Considering the high-energy costs of operating the latest generation servers, optimising efficiency at different load conditions remains critical.
The adaptive capability of digital power management ICs will enhance linearity between load and utilisation and result in significant cost savings. However, customers must understand the value of digital power products in order for suppliers to realise high returns.
“Suppliers are faced with the challenge of effectively educating customers about the benefits of digital power solutions in different application segments,” says Frost & Sullivan research analyst Amit Dixit. “Positioning the products to customers as an enabling solution with performance features that solve their problem rather than as a new technology will be critical for the success of digital power products.”
Meanwhile, digital power management ICs are also benefiting from the rising need to manage multiple voltage rails and high power in many application segments such as telecommunications, data communications, and computer networks. The growing market now includes digital communication, monitoring, control, and digital power conversion loops for on-board power supply designs.
In the power electronics industry, designers and decision-makers with strong analog expertise in implementing power management solutions should make the shift to digital solutions, as digital technology gains traction across end-user segments.
While the current price-to-performance ratio of digital power management ICs makes it attractive for high-end equipment, future price declines will see it extend its reach into cost-sensitive application segments such as consumer electronics, lighting, and other industrial applications. This will increase its unit shipment and market revenues.
“Digital power management enables the monitoring and control of high-end equipment remotely, thus helping in predicting failures and preventing costly downtimes,” notes Dixit. “The benefits of the reduced solution cost are immediately apparent for applications in data communications, computer networks, and telecommunications.”