04.03.11

Panel makers ramp up LED backlit display production

Panel makers are throwing their weight behind LED backlit displays, anticipating an overall penetration of 53% in 2011, according to DislaySearch.

Global shipments of LCD TV panels with LED backlights reached 16.6 million units in the last quarter of 2010 with strong growth in edge-lit configurations. According to DisplaySearch’s Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment–Advanced LED Report, panel makers are targeting rapid penetration increases for LED backlights in LCD TV panels, growing from 36% in the first quarter of 2011 to 62% in the last quarter. This represents an overall penetration of 53% for 2011.

In 2010, penetration reached 21%, up from 2% in the previous year.

“Despite some buildup of LED-backlit TV panel inventories in the second half of 2010, the industry has recognised that LED backlighting is an irreversible trend, with benefits such as lower power consumption and slimness,” noted David Hsieh, DisplaySearch vice president and research leader for large-area panels. “This has encouraged LCD TV panel makers to reduce LED backlighting costs continuously in order to increase shipments.”

DisplaySearch expects that LED penetration will pass 50% and become the mainstream for LCD TV backlights.

Hsieh added, “This does not mean that CCFL will no longer be in demand, as there are still many end users and emerging markets that are very price sensitive. It’s important for the industry to maintain support for CCFL panels.”

Nearly all LCD TV panel makers are focusing on edge-type LED backlights in TV panels, with the exception of Sharp, which is producing direct type as well. As the following figure shows, LG Display led in LED-backlit LCD TV panel shipments in the last quarter of 2010, shipping more than 5 million units for a 31.1% share. Sharp closely followed with 21.5%, then Samsung with 20.8%, and AUO with 14.2%.

In terms of LED-backlit LCD TV panel revenues, Sharp and Samsung were tied with 27.3%; LG Display followed with 25.1%, and AUO with 13.9%.