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Driver ICs revenue to slow down, says report

Posted: 12 Jun 2008     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:display driver IC  flat-panel display  TFT-LCD  LCD TV 

Revenue growth for display driver ICs is expected to slow down in the years to come amidst the rapid expansion of the global flat-panel display (FPD) industry, according to the recent report of iSuppli Corp.

"While overall unit growth was strong, global revenue grew only 10.2 per cent to reach Rs.35,218.54 crore ($8.8 billion) in 2007, up from Rs.31,976.83 crore ($7.99 billion) in 2006," said iSuppli's report.

iSuppli said the global display driver market grew by 26.2 per cent to reach 6.9 billion units in 2007, up from 5.5 billion units in 2006, driven primarily by LCD TV and notebook PC displays. Another major factor was the transition away from passive STN-type LCD displays to active matrix TFT-LCD displays in many mobile and handheld products such as mobile handsets and GPS navigation units. These displays require larger numbers of display drivers.
Display Driver Market Growth: Large Panels Lead the Way

The report indicated that revenue growth was limited by lower average selling prices for the driver ICs because of fierce competition among display driver makers and decreasing panel prices. "These factors exerted pricing pressure on all suppliers to panel manufacturers," iSuppli said.

Flat-panel displays are found in many products ranging from small control panels on automotive dashboard displays and 7-inch digital photo frames to the 52-inch LCD-TV. "With the explosion of LCD and plasma television sales, the display driver IC market has grown rapidly over the past several years as more consumers and businesses sought to replace their old CRT-based displays with newer flat-panel sets," the company added.

Despite strong unit growth posted the previous year, in part to LCD-TV demand, unit shipments for display drivers will decline to 15.1 per cent in 2008, down from 26.2 per cent in 2007. Annual growth will average about 11 per cent from 2009 to 2011.

Contributing to the market slowdown is LCD price declines, which put pricing pressure on driver ICs, along with the adoption of multi-channel drivers by panel manufacturers.

Yet, there are new applications and products such as DPFs, multi-touch panels and 3D displays, which should expand the display market. "In addition, advancements in OLED displays should pave the way for larger and higher volumes of OLED-TV displays, which could significantly expand the market for OLED drivers," iSuppli said.

Gina Roos

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