Tag: tft lcd

High end displays are in heavy demand

HTC smartphoneStrong demand from Apple and Chinese manufacturers mean LTPS TFT LCD – that’s high end screens to you and me – rose by 30 percent in September, amounting to 51.6 million units.

LTPS stand for low temperature amorphous silicon and offers advantages over standard TFT LCD panels, sai IHS Inc.

Apple adopted LTPS for its latest smartphone and that’s prompted others to follow its lead. While LTPS screens are more expensive, they give better power consumption and provide higher resolution than the bog standard TFT LCD.

AMOLED, championed by Apple rival Samsung, has not expanded that much although the company is promoting the panels, which it makes, to Chinese companies.

Smartphone shipments of all types numbered 79.6 million units in September, while AMOLED panels account for 25 million units.

China set to take lead in flat panels

LG Display's AIT panelA report said that Chinese manufacturers will dominate the manufacture of flat panel display by 2018.

IHS Technology said that Chinese capacity for flat panels has and is growing at 40 percent a year up to 2018.

The situation is quite different for other manufacturers in Taiwan, Japan and South Korea, which currently dominate the market. IHS estimates that growth between 2010 and 2018 is less than two percent a year.

By 2018, Chinese manufacturers will account for 35 percent of the global market, from its 2010 position of two percent.

The flat panel LCD market is rapidly becoming commoditised and it is expensive to keep ahead on new technology.

Charles Annis, a senior director at IHS, said: “Despite growing concerns of oversupply for the next several years in most parts of the display indistry, there is still little evidence that Chinese makers are scaling back their ambitious expansion plans. On the contrary, there continues to be a steady stream of announcements of new factory plans by various regional governments and panel makers.

This chart shows the leaders in 2010 and IHS projections for 2018.

flat panel 2010 to 2018

Apple, Samsung drive embedded touch displays

Apple's CEO, Tim CookA report from market research company IHS said that Samsung and Apple between them accounted for over 40 percent of the global smartphone market and they’re both driving the market in embedded touch displays.

IHSsaid Apple uses in cell touch technology and Samsung on cell AMOLED and both approaches are challening the rest of the smartphone market, with these types of displays growing 47 percent year on year.

Now on-cell touch TFT LCD displays are entering the entry level and mid range smartphone market.

Panel manufacturers are hoping the rest of the smartphone business will follow suit with these type of displays, IHS said.

Analyst Calvin Hsieh said: “Customer preference for embedded touch displays can increase selling prices and revenues – consequently, nearl all panel makers are aggressively approaching smartphone brands with their own solutions.

Here’s how IHS sees the marketplace.

Embedded touch displays, IHS Inc

Flat panel shipments hit

Dell TabletSales of Taiwanese manufactured TFT LCD screens amounted to 60 million in the first quarter of this year, but that’s down marginally over three percent compared to the same quarter last year.

Digitimes Research (DR) said that of the four sectors it watches – TVs, monitors, notebook and tablets only the first showed positive growth – up 13.5 percent year on year.

Korean flat screen manufacturers LG Display and Samsung both opened next generation fabrication plants in the quarter and concentrated on switching production in the old fabs to churn out TVs and monitors.

But demand for notebook panels and monitors was weak in the first quarter, with DR reporting that Taiwanese manufacturers saw a nine percent sequential decline during the quarter.

Tablet panels fared worse – shipments for these gadgets fell 17.5 sequentially, said the research company.

Panel makers slash capacity in Q3

Panel makers are slowing down on production for the second half of this year, thanks to little demand and quickly dropping prices.

The manufacturers are reducing capacity, and glass input will have dropped 14 percent in the third quarter compared to the previous quarter. Still, it’s a five percent growth year on year at 12.2 million square meters. 

They hope to keep that level steady, according to DisplaySearch, throughout the fourth quarter but they’re still not sure which way the pendulum’s going to swing for demand. 

Only tablets and mini notes will maintaing the same capacity rates throughout the quarters this year. They grew 79 percent year on year but they are a relatively new technology, as electronics manufacturers have rushed to compete with Apple on its iPad.

Glass input dropped in particular for TFT LCD in the desktop monitor, TV and notebook PC incarnations, at 19 percent, 13 percent and 17 percent quarterly declines. Double digit demand drop all around, then.

Panel makers assumed that the market was going to favour them, having penned in utilisation rates of up to 90 percent for the third quarter, but DisplaySearch senior analyst Shawn Lee claims it’ll only be 75 percent. 

Manufacturing generations are all experiencing a double digit drop for the confusing quarter, except, says the analyst house, Gen 10 – because of the low utilisation rate in the second quarter because of the earthquake in Japan. 

Panel makers impose capacity squeeze

It’s not like panel-makers have been accused of conspiring against the whole world and its dog before. Taiwan’s AU Optronics and Chimei Innolux panel powerhouses are putting the squeeze on TFT-LCDs.

It’s a rather old trick. Tighten the belt on output and you can keep prices high. AUO is leading the charge but other big business panel companies like Samsung and LG Display are also planning to cut production.

There has been a glut of inventory with shipments particularly cautious in the Europe and North America regions, which forced panel prices to sit in the lower end of the spectrum in June. Cutting supply is a counter strategy, says Taiwan Economic News.

AUO has cut glass purchase and will lower its capacity utilisation to 80 percent from 85 percent.

We’ll see that change in the third quarter. Chimei is expected to knock ten percent off its capacity, from 90 to 80 percent in the same quarter. Both Samsung and LG will follow suit.

We will be taking market conditions into account, says AUO, meaning despite the overall health of the sector it’s not quite seeing the margins it would like.

AUO and Sharp kiss and make up over TFT-LCD patent fuss

Sharp was in trouble with Taiwanese AU Optronics recently over patent infringement, but the two have made good and signed a licence agreement.

There was retaliating and umming and ahhing in district courts here and there from both sides.

AUO and Sharp have now entered a loving embrace, clutching each other to their respective bosoms, and will licence their own patents to each other.

There’s a strong and extensive patent portfolio for both, AUO and Sharp say in a statement. 

While slipping twenties into each other’s back pockets, they have also both dropped all pending legal actions that have been filed.

These are the patents AUO was cross about with Sharp. We can’t remember the other ones. 6,818,9677,057,3597,125,1577,259,526, 7,317,2897,172,331., 7,771,0987,723,728 and 7,101,073.

Another happy ending to an unseemly row. 

LCD TV cell shipments will increase 30 percent in 2011

LCD TV panel manufacturers are planning on growing their cell businesses 30 percent in 2011 to support the increasing demand from TV manufacturer customers, with Chimei Innolux leading the  market.

According to a DisplaySearch report, in the cell business model TFT LCD panel makers provide only the liquid crystal cell to the set manufacturer.  This cell includes the TFT and colour filter glass substrates, as well as liquid crystal with timing controller and driver ICs, but not the backlight module or additional optical films.

The benefit of this business model is that it allows more flexibility in the panel production, enabling set makers to customise their own designs and add more value.

“In 2010, Chimei Innolux led the cell business, while other LCD manufacturers had a very minor share of cell shipments. However, in order to meet the tough market environment surrounding the TV business as a result of severe price wars, even Samsung plans to increase cell shipments to their internal TV division. This may change the supply chain and market share in 2011,” noted Deborah Yang , Research Director of Monitor and TV for DisplaySearch.

It is predicted that Chimei Innolux will lead the market with an expectation that it will achieve over 50 percent of cell shipments.  The firm’s major customers will be Chinese TV brands.

Samsung meanwhile is will target 40 percent of its cell shipments for its internal TV division.  Other panel makers are also expected to increase shipments this year by 10-20 percent. 

It is also noted that the top three panel makers, Samsung, LG Display, and Chimei Innolux, will be aggressive with their plan to ship more than 60 million units of LCD TV panels in 2011. In total, LCD TV panel makers plan to ship more than 270 million units in 2011.

Further DisplaySearch analysis showed that the share of LCD TVs outsourced reached a record high of 34 percent in the third quarter of 2010, as Sony and LGE increased their outsourcing ratio to more than 50 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

TFT LCD panel shipment see record results in November

Shipments of large-area TFT LCD panels saw record results in November, surpassing the previous record set back in May 2010.  There were 61.4 million units shipped in November, an increase of six percent month on month from October, amounting to a total of $6.9 billion in revenue.

The results also showed significant improvement over those of last year, with shipments and revenues increasing by 19 percent and five percent respectively, year on year.

According to David Hsieh, vice president of DisplaySearch, the industry has recovered after a six month dip in large-area TFT LCD panel shipments. “Key indicators have improved. Inventory levels are falling, panel prices are stabilising and shipments are increasing gradually,” he said.

Hsieh added that peak shipment levels usually occur in September or October, and this is the first time that the industry has witnessed a peak in November.

It is thought that this is a result of downstream players becoming more confident in their ability to manage inventories after the hot seasonal promotions, Hsieh says, while new applications like slate PC are driving the growth of some segments.

The report shows that all large-area TFT LCD applications showed strong growth from the previous month, with LCD monitor panels showing the strongest growth at 14 percent month on month.

Table 1: Large-Area TFT LCD Panel Shipments and Growth (Millions of Units)

 

Nov 09

Oct 10

Nov 10

M/M

Y/Y

Notebook PC & Slate

18.5

20.3

22.1

9%

19%

Monitor

16.3

16.1

18.3

14%

12%

TV

16.1

18.9

20.1

6%

25%

Other

0.8

1.0

1.0

11%

25%

L/A Total

51.7

56.2

61.4

9%

19%

Source: DisplaySearch December 2010 Monthly TFT LCD Shipment Database

It is thought that notebook and monitor panel prices stabilised last month, and prices for some sizes in tight supply have rebounded.

Hsieh also believes that LCD TV panel prices will stop falling next quarter and possibly rebound. “Panel makers’ utilisation rates, TV panel prices, and low inventory levels are indications of a rebound,” Hsieh says.

LCD TV manufacturers and OEMs are now believed to be starting to move forward with their 2011 business plans, which are leading them to begin to place orders with panel makers.

In the short term, the report shows that the reduced working days during the holiday period of the upcoming Chinese New Year will lead to some brands refilling their inventories sooner

Hsieh added, “The recent sell-through results in China and North America served to clear out some inventories. This could be a positive factor for panel price stabilisation in the next quarter as some brands and OEMs increase their demand forecast.“

On a unit basis, LG Display was the leader with 27.5 percent market share, followed by Samsung with 23.5 percent, Chimei Innolux with 17.8 percent, and AUO with 15.8 percent.

On a revenue basis, Samsung led with a 25.5 percent market share, followed by LG Display with 25.3 percent, AUO with 16.4 percent, and Chimei Innolux with 14.3 percent.

On an area basis, LG Display led with a 27.4 percent market share, followed by Samsung with 24.5 percent, Chimei Innolux with 16.5 percent, and AUO with 15.5 percent.

All panel makers enjoyed month on month growth, with the exception of Hydis, Sharp, Tianma, and Toshiba. Meanwhile, BOE has the highest month on month growth rate of over 70 percent. Chimei Innolux has over 30 percent month growth. Companies like InfoVision and HannStar also enjoyed double-digit month growth.

Slate/mini-note (5.0-11.6”) panel shipments were seven million in November, maintaining the high level set in October. Within the 7 million, 9.7” iPad panel shipments were 2.8 million.

DisplaySearch and Meko gear up for DisplayForum 2010

Analyst soothsayers DisplaySearch and Meko are teaming up yet again to show the world what’s what in the display and panel market in a two day conference this November for the DisplayForum Conference.

Both specialists have been collaborating since 2002 to shed light on the industry. The conference will be split into two seperate days – the first is GLADE 2010 which stands for Green Large Area Displays in Europe.

The Energy Saving Trust will be headlining and taking a look at both retailer and consumer points of view with regards to its voluntary retailer initiative for tellies. It’ll be interesting to find out its opinion on the green questions, of which there are many, in the display sector. Which is why TechEye will be there.

3D Vision Europe is the second day. It’ll be headlined with a keynote from Sony’s Mark Londero, taking a consumer electronics perspective on 3D – something we’ve been critical of. We’ll be badgering him with questions there, too.

It’s sponsored by Lenovo, Samsung and Sharp – all keenly showing their faces as some right on the front line of display. EPEAT will be the silver sponsor.

Managing director at Meko, Bob Raikes, said: “The high profile and variety of speakers at these two highly topical conferences will make them essential events for marketeers from all sectors of the display industry. In addition, leading analysts will be providing the very latest data and forecasts for these competitive markets.”

It’s going to be held at the Heathrow Hilton, which means we won’t be sticking around overnight because the bar will be too expensive for our blood.