Energy Harvesting, PMIC Markets to Grow Rapidly

May 10, 2012

One of the next big things to look for in green tech? Power management ICs (PMICs), says market research publisher Global Industry Analysts (GIA) in a report on the Digital Power Management ICs market.

PMICs are integrated circuits that improve the manner in which power is utilized by electrical or electronic systems—and they are poised to revolutionize the world of electronics, power and communications by enabling the development of more energy-efficient products and solutions.

Streetline wireless mesh network paths overlaid on Sausalito, Calif. Source: Dust Networks

GIA predicts compound annual growth rate of 29.3 percent in Asia, the most promising market, through 2017. And it’s easy to envision a world in which energy efficiency is built into nearly every electronic device, saving us energy automatically.

Power management ICs have already achieved significance in both conventional and battery powered electronic devices, and the demand for power management ICs, which can not only extend the battery life of these portable devices but also provide a measure of remaining battery power, is growing at a brisk pace.

In addition, the proliferation of high-performance products that employ numerous voltage rails and high currents such as high-end servers, networking, storage and computing devices, datacom, routing and telecom equipment, will spur growth. Rapid developments in energy sector, particularly in alternative energy such as solar and wind energy, will create demand for power ICs in the manufacture of smart grids and meters, says the GIA.

Also spurring growth will be Power Management ICs capable of supporting micro-harvesting designs of wireless devices. Ambient energy harvesting for powering circuits should become more widespread in the upcoming years, as technology improvements make it feasible to scavenge energy from ambient sources. An example of this is EnOcean’s energy harvesting technologies for home and building control ecosystems, consisting of self-powered light switches, sensors and thermo-powered HVAC controls.

In another report, IDTechEx finds that the total market for energy harvesting devices, including everything from wristwatches to wireless sensors to laptops and mobile phones, will rise to over $5 billion in 2022. According to wireless sensor networking company Dust Networks, low-power electronics used with wireless sensor networks (WSN), will result in longer battery life, increased data acquisition and even reduced latency.

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