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Samsung Uses iPad as Launch Pad for Power Management Semiconductor Bid

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Building on its key design win in Apple's iPad, Samsung Electronics plans to re enter the burgeoning market for power management semiconductors, potentially allowing it to emerge as a formidable competitor in the area, according to iSuppli.

For the iPad, Samsung contributed a power management Integrated Circuit (IC), the S6T2MLCX01 processor voltage regulator, with an estimated cost of $1.25, according to iSuppli's Teardown Analysis Service. This marquee win could provide an opening for Samsung in electronic products from other manufacturers.

"Apple is the king of product innovation-and very selective in every aspect of its hardware design," observed Marijana Vukicevic, principal analyst, power management services, for iSuppli. "The company's use of a Samsung part is likely to attract the interest of other electronics brands and manufacturers. This could pave the way for Samsung to become a serious competitor in the power management semiconductor industry and start taking market share from the existing players."

The opportunity in the power management semiconductor area is enormous. Global revenue from power management semiconductors is expected to nearly double in the coming years, rising to $40.8 billion in 2014, up from $22.4 billion in 2009. In 2010 alone revenue will surge by 30.9 percent to $29.4 billion, up from $22.4 billion in 2009.

Samsung strikes back

Up until the late 1990s, Samsung was a player in the merchant power management semiconductor business. However, the company was forced out of the market by International Rectifier Corp. Since then, Samsung has maintained a power management semiconductor line only for use in its own products.

To re-enter the power management semiconductor market, Samsung is likely to develop and offer voltage regulators for use in PCs, LCD-TVs and cell phones.

Samsung enters a highly fragmented voltage regulator IC market, with iSuppli tracking 26 separate competitors on a quarterly basis in the area. The company's major competitors in the voltage regulator market are likely to be No. 1-ranked Texas Instruments, No. 2 National Semiconductor Corp., No. 3 Maxim Integrated Products and No. 4 Linear Technology Corp.

"Samsung's design win in the iPad by itself is expected to bring almost $9 million worth of power management revenue for the company this year-a total that is expected to double in 2011," Vukicevic noted. "However, this is only the beginning, as Samsung leverages its internal expertise in analog semiconductors, along with its dominant manufacturing resources and prodigious capital spending, to muscle its way back into the power semiconductor market."

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