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AC/DC adapters: AC/DC adapter makers revitalize R&D efforts amid growth forecasts

LED lighting presents a development opportunity for embedded units, while dynamic consumer electronics trends sustain the mainstream external category.

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.

AC/DC adapter
  Guangzhou Vigour's 3-in-1 Universal Adapter model for laptops has 90W maximum power. It comes with eight to 13 detachable power plugs.

  In this report
  •  Main story
  •  Mainstream, value-added options
  •  Sales pitch
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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.

This article "AC/DC adapters: AC/DC adapter makers revitalize R&D efforts amid growth forecasts" is originally posted in Global Sources.

Note: All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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