Suppliers of external and embedded AC/DC adapters in China are confident of the forecast growth for the line. This is encouraging makers to boost R&D efforts even as post crisis demand is still weak. They see the fast-rising LED lighting industry as an opportunity to develop the embedded segment, while sustaining further advancement in the consumer electronics-driven external category.
In fact, global projections point to an expanding market for embedded products, starting with a 5 percent increase for a $14.8 billion total in 2009. This will climb to almost 7 percent CAGR, bringing the entire value to $20.6 billion by 2014, according to the Darnell Group. Uptake in the diodebased line is estimated at about $1.9 billion in 2009. It will increase steadily with the technology's penetration of the general illumination, medical and architectural lighting sectors. The LED industry is expected to realize up to 90 percent CAGR in 2009-14.
External AC/DC adapters, on the other hand, will continue to benefit from the release of consumer electronic products with more functions and correspondingly higher power requirements. Another welcome development is a 12 percent volume increase in notebook PC output in 2009, as projected by iSuppli. This includes netbooks. Demand from the portable power supplies sector is also expected to drive production.
Further buoying local makers' R&D initiatives is the line's general performance, which is expected to break the trend in its category. By 2013, AC/DC adapters will have surpassed DC-DC converters in terms of value, achieving an almost 6 percent YoY increase as the latter slows to below 6 percent.
China's external AC/DC adapters have a market that is over five times larger than their embedded counterparts. This is why the majority of makers support the line, filling the demand from mobile phones, laptops, LCD TVs and digital cameras.
Local competition, however, is intense, especially in the low-wattage segment, pushing some suppliers to raise the bar. They are aiming beyond 100W to keep pace with new and powerful notebook PCs, while serving the lower requirement of netbooks. An example for the latter is Guangzhou Vigour Electronics Co. Ltd's VG-AUC48W series with 9.5 to 28V and maximum 48W ratings.
Others are developing products for lighting, portable power supplies and medical devices as well.
Overriding design considerations is energy efficiency, which remains the priority in the line, even more so now in view of the environmental protection trend. Some makers, including Shenzhen Shengji Power Co. Ltd, said they have achieved improved ratings exceeding 80 percent. Models generally target compliance with Energy Star, CEC and CSC.
China is the largest manufacturing base for the line, with more than 1,000 companies providing over 70 percent of global supply. Many are operating in major electronics hubs such as Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, and Shanghai.
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