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Report: LED backlight costs dropping fast

Posted: 22 Feb 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LCD? LED? backlight? CCFL?

Most LCD panel and set makers are turning on LED backlight units for improved visual performance, thinner form factor and lower power consumption. The key issue has been reducing cost, in absolute terms and relative to the conventional cold cathode fluorescent (CCFL) backlights. DisplaySearch's Quarterly LED & CCFL Backlight Cost Report disclosed that the average cost of 40-inch edge LED backlight unit in Q1 10 is $118, and will fall to $100 by Q4 10. Cost reduction is driven by increasing production volumes, which affects LED and material costs, and by improvement in LED luminous intensity, which enables the use of fewer LED chips.

The core components in a TV with an LED backlight unitLED chips, light guide plate (LGP), and dual brightness enhancement film (DBEF)are not used in conventional CCFL backlight units for LCD TVs. In the 40-inch LED backlight cost, the light source including the LED assembly accounts for 34 percent of the BOM, the LGP is 13 percent, and the DBEF is 15 percent, so it is clear that LED design, output, and chip cost will be key for LED backlight cost reduction.

"To reduce LED backlight costs, manufacturers need to develop innovative LED backlight structures with minimal use of LED chips, LGPs with optimized patterns, and effective optical film stacks," noted Kevin Kwak, DisplaySearch director of LED backlight unit research. "Analyzing developments throughout the supply chain, we have built an LED and CCFL backlight cost simulation model," Kwak continued. "Based on this model we can forecast that the cost of a 40-inch LED backlight will reach $100 in Q4 10, a 2.8x premium over the equivalent CCFL backlight, down from 3.7x at the beginning of 2009."

Backlight Cost Comparison for 40-inch Full HD LCD TV panel

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