Wellesley, MA (PRWEB) May 06, 2013
BCC Research estimates that the global market for thermal interface materials (TIMs) was worth nearly $426 million in 2011 and $458 million in 2012. The market is expected to grow to $762 million in 2017 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10.7% between 2012 and 2017.
Computers made up the largest end-use segment for thermal interface materials in 2011, with global sales of $145.4 million. Medical and office equipment composed the second-largest segment, followed by industrial and military equipment ,and telecommunications. Computers and especially medical and office equipment should gain market share over the next five years, whereas telecoms and industrial and military equipment are expected to see decreases in their shares.
The Asia-Pacific region (excluding Japan) is the largest and fastest-growing TIM market, earning more than $251 million in 2011 and establishing a CAGR of 12.3% between 2012 and 2017. The 2011 U.S., EU, and Japanese markets were roughly similar in size, and have comparable projected annual growth rates (in the 7.5%-8.3% range) over the next five years.
The non-Japanese Asia-Pacific markets should increase their shares from 59% in 2011 to 63% in 2017. North America, the EU, and Japan are all expected to lose market shares.
Manufacturers of high-performance and higher-frequency microprocessors are situated in this end market. Increasing commoditization of high-performance microprocessors has reportedly exerted a certain amount of downward pressure on thermal management revenues. BCC Research believes that, in the near to mid-term, this trend will be offset by the tendency among even low-cost PC manufacturers to incorporate more video, graphics, and communication functions into their products, boosting their thermal management requirements.
The proliferation of low-power, battery-operated, handheld, mobile and portable platforms is likely to reduce manufacturers’ requirements for thermal management products. Manufacturers are looking at the portable platform differently, designing processing power to manage more features such as music playing, voice input, and Internet connectivity, rather than run Microsoft Windows spreadsheets. The focus of thermal management in these platforms is in the design at the chip level, where inexpensive electronic packages and performance-enhancing substrates are developed with the processor or the system-on-a-chip (SoC).
Power dissipation has been the major driver of thermal management technology, but some environmental and regulatory issues may have peripheral impacts on the thermal management market. Until recently, there had been a seemingly inexorable trend toward chips with ever-larger numbers of gates on the silicon and ever-faster clock speeds, resulting in higher power dissipation. A portion of this power is dissipated as heat. The trend toward greater power dissipation thus drove the development of thermal management devices and strategies, as engineers sought to remove enough heat from their devices to ensure that circuit components stayed below the levels needed to maintain system performance and reliability.