The following commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet's guest contributor program, which is separate from the company's news coverage.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Power semiconductors are $14 billion subset of the overall $300 billion semiconductor market. Manufacturers are a "who's who" of the industry: Infineon, Toshiba, Fairchild, Mitsubishi Electric, Renasas Electronics, STMicroelectronics, Vishay, International Rectifiers, Fuji Electric Systems, ON Semiconductor, MicroSemi, National Semiconductor and Texas Instruments.
Power semiconductors are used in notebooks, netbooks, desktop PC's, servers, flat panel displays, TVs, graphics cards, game boxes, chargers, battery packs, AC adapters, power supplies, e-bikes, DVD/Blu-Ray players, set-top boxes and networking equipment. In addition, power semiconductors are essential devices for solar and wind power generation systems as inverters for connecting these systems with the electric power grid, and in a wide range of home electronic appliances, such as air conditioners. Hybrid and electric vehicles all use power semiconductors for inverters, and as this market grows, so too will be the power semiconductor market. Last year 30% of these power devices were used in industrial applications, vs. 22% for communication, 18% for consumer applications, and a remaining 30% divided between computers and autos.
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