Infineon Technologies AG (Munich) has acquired all outstanding shares of LS Power Semitech Co. Ltd. (LSPS), which was formed in 2009 as a joint-venture between Infineon and LS Industrial Systems Co. Ltd. (Anyang, South Korea).
Infineon, which has owned 66% of the joint venture since June 2014, did not reveal how much it paid for the outstanding 34% of the company. LSPS has development activities based in Seoul and a manufacturing site is located in Cheonan, South Korea. The firm is well positioned to serve the large domestic South Korean, Chinese and global consumer white goods markets.
The full consolidation of LSPS increases Infineon's footprint in the growing market for integrated power modules (IPMs), which include control circuitry along with power semiconductors such as insulated-gate bipolar transistor (IGBTs). IPMs are generally found in consumer appliances and light industrial applications, including refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dryers and air conditioners, Infineon says in a statement.
Earlier this year, Infineon acquired International Rectifier, which offers a complementary portfolio of IPMs. With the acquisition of the outstanding shares of LSPS, Infineon is bolstering its capability to provide customers worldwide with a broad range of IPMs optimized for white goods and industrial applications.
Depending on the application, variable speed motors using IPMs consume only about half of the energy of simple on/off motors. In appliances such as refrigerators, the efficiency gained by using one or more variable speed motors allows a reduction in the amount of insulation required for the enclosure.
Infineon, referencing IHS Technology as the source of the market data, says the world market for IPM products will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) approaching 10% from 2013 to 2018, while the consumer segment will show a CAGR of 15.5% over the same period.
In the U.S., the trend is toward higher energy efficiency driven by new U.S. Department of Energy standards aimed at reducing the energy consumption of refrigerators and freezers. In South Korea, leading manufacturers have started to exclusively make goods with variable speed electric motors controlled by IPMs. Energy efficiency in Europe is being propelled by EU regulations that demand an energy label for home appliances in all of the 28 member states.
"Power electronics is a cornerstone of our commitment to address the global challenge of energy efficiency," says Helmut Gassel, president of the
industrial power control division at Infineon. "Companies we supply in these markets are positive about our strategic approach to move from product thinking towards system understanding."
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