Suppliers are securing the island's position as the world's largest manufacturer of small & medium TFT-LCD panels through technology developments and output expansion.
In 2010, Taiwan accounted for more than 30 percent of global shipments of small and medium TFT-LCD panels. The production value reached about $4.8 billion, according to Industrial Economics & Knowledge Center. This is expected to increase by 16 percent this year, driven mainly by demand from mobile electronics such as e-book readers, tablet PCs and smartphones.
Makers here benefit from the thriving PC industry. They expect the earthquake in Japan to boost panel subcontracts to Taiwan.
To sustain lead, companies are investing in product development. With major players such as AU Optronics Corp. and Chimei Innolux dominating next-generation technologies and controlling the majority of large panels, tier 2 enterprises are strengthening their small and midsize segments, and finding niche applications to boost revenue. Giantplus and Wintek, for instance, are focusing on touchscreen panels and expanding production capacity. Prime View, meanwhile, engages in e-paper solutions.
Tier 1 vendors are likewise leveraging production capability to boost output not only for large panels but also for small and medium variants. AU Optronics and Chimei Innolux, for example, are utilizing their 4 to 6G fabs for the last two categories. At the same time, they are spending on new panel technologies to retain positions.
AU Optronics is developing e-paper and AMOLED technologies. It has acquired SiPix, the leading electronic ink solutions provider, to strengthen expertise on e-paper modules. The company has also designed a 14in AMOLED prototype, which was presented last year.
Chimei Innolux emphasizes low-temperature polysilicon panel production. Models utilizing LTPS are said to have fast response time, high brightness, resolution and durability, rich color and low power consumption. Such panels are considered suitable for high-end mobile electronic devices, especially tablet PCs.
Small and medium TFT-LCD panels have sizes below 10in.
Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
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