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DisplaySearch warns of tight TFT-LCD materials supply in '08

Posted: 25 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:TFT-LCD? display market? notebook PC? liquid crystal?

A new report form DisplaySearch found that TFT-LCD materials and components grew by 20 percent in 2007 and is expected to show 6 percent increase this year but warns of a tight supply of some key components.

The market research group estimates the market for TFT-LCD materials reached a record $51.5 billion on the back of a 42 percent growth in areal capacity after $13 billion in 2006 equipment spending and strong demand from the LCD TV and notebook PC markets.

Backlights led the way with $15 billion in revenues, while liquid crystal enjoyed the fastest growth.

"2007 turned out to be an excellent year for TFT-LCD panel makers, which in turn caused a shortage in glass substrates and color filters in the second half of 2007," said Tadashi Uno, DisplaySearch director of materials and components research. Uno added materials and components manufacturers also enjoyed high operating ratios in 2007 but despite this, most prices continued to decline in 2007especially due to the number of new vendors entering the optical film space and fierce price competition.

Uno said the reason for the forecasted 6 percent growth for this year is because panel manufacturers were investing less in new capacity during 2007.

DisplaySearch also noted a growing dichotomy in the materials market, with some segments such as glass substrates and liquid crystal enjoying relatively stable pricing and high growth on high barriers to entry while other segments such as backlights and driver ICs are expected to experience flat results on cost pressure, increased price competition and component elimination.

As a result, while the liquid crystal market is expected to increase by 23 percent in 2008, backlights and driver ICs are expected to be flat.

- John Walko
EE Times Europe

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