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President of JDC Chung-Ho Tai: LCoS suddenly rises

By Newsroom
Published: Jun 18,2013

When Apple incites the explosive trend of mobile devices, it is clear and shows tremendous growth. It seems that Taiwan PC industry had reached peak and now going downhills. Meanwhile, where is the future of electronics Industry in Taiwan? What kind of development does Taiwan’s company search for? All companies seem to be looking for new direction urgently.

Acer Corporation, as the tremendous company leading Taiwan’s PC industry and it has important position of Taiwan’s industry. One of five co-founders of Acer Corp, Mr. Chung-Ho Tai was president of InveStar Capital. He has a lot of successful experience for investment. For example: Investing in Marvell which is IC design company, Richtek Corp., and Capella Microsystems(Taiwan)Inc. In flourishing time, his assets were over three hundred million and IRR annual rate of return is over twenty percent.

Lately, Mr. Chung-Ho Tai reinvests in JDC Corp. and he is in charge of president personally because he is reluctant to hundreds million USD invested in Taiwan and optimistic about technology platform over decades. At this time, he notices the values of LCoS technology, and focus on new appropriate application areas. He believes that LCoS is growing rapidly and not only breakthrough, but also looking for high achievement. He thinks LcoS affect Taiwan’s industry significantly, and hopes that government and industry will also value this change. As below is interview with Mr. Tai.

Photo: Tai and the emergence of promising LcoS
Photo: Tai and the emergence of promising LcoS

How does Taiwan break through current dilemma?

Q: What kind of dilemma do you think Taiwan industry encounter?

A: More than a decade of Taiwan, the biggest investment is Two Trillion and Twin Star indusrty. However, right now, LCD and DRAM industries of Two Trillion and Twin Star run quite hard.

As for LCD industry, after ten years development, it reached new surroundings and challenges. Moreover, industry varies further when China LCD factories rised up. Under intense competition, LCD industries fall into supplying and demand cycle, and global LCD factories management becomes harder and more difficult.

However, the contribution of LCD industries is obvious. As everyone knows, all 3C products almost need display components. With global panel factories, related components factories and terminal supplier effort, low cost display upgrades human life level significantly, and concept “Display Everywhere” is achieved in daily life. The result is strived by most industries and this contribution can not be obliterated.

I think the biggest problem of Taiwan’s industries is no “Heart”. You have to find ‘’Heart” to create “Win” strategy.

Taiwan has invested a lot of resources in LCD industries, but the operating turns much harder currently. In fact, Taiwan’s industries should make profit based on the added value of IP and Know-How, not based on producing products which utilize too much social resources. Therefore, Taiwan government should let go to have industries take the ownership without set up limits to them. Meanwhile, government should encourage them to set up factories overseas to profit by total integration, not by assembling.

In other words, Taiwan has to change from manufacturing center to IP center, and utilize its powerful on-Glass superiority, then establish on-Glass infrastructure to develop On-Silicon. As a result, it can combine LCD, LED, and Semiconductor advantages of Taiwan, then to secure Taiwan’s role in worldwide technology development.

Figure 2: Tai and in that product, supply chain, R & D required to Trinity
Figure 2: Tai and in that product, supply chain, R & D required to Trinity

To combine all industries to “fight together”

Q: As you mentioned before, there is no “heart” in Taiwan industry. What is “heart” you referred to?

A: From the trend of global business development point of view, it is a warning for Taiwan that Samsung developed rapidly. It’s another warning that the foundation of Taiwan in China not rooted deep enough. Taiwan has to use product and supply chain as the basis, and combine R & D energy to go from separate business models to “trinity”. This is an important course for Taiwan industries development.

In fact, Taiwan not only has good foundation in Semiconductor and IC design industry, but also in ray machine / light source / lens. And, it coupled with LCD machining and extensive packaging industry experience that supply chain industries should have good chance to cut in. If Taiwan can recruit more upstream material factory and get more funds, with downstream terminal industry investment, it can form cluster effect completely.

It will help Taiwan industries to upgrade if we can combine power of producing, government, knowledge, and research to “fight together” with all industries to form cluster and expansion effect. To increase local technical elements is the strategy to win.

After careful consideration, I think the “heart” of important “New Platform” is Light Source (LED/Laser), Imager, and Controller. I hope that Taiwan can become application areas center, marketing center, and supply chain cluster center by this time to have “heart” and “basement”.

Figure three: Tai and noted that insist on LCoS technology manufacturers will reap fruitful results
Figure three: Tai and noted that insist on LCoS technology manufacturers will reap fruitful results

New opportunities of LCoS

Q: What does JDC see in LCoS projection display industry?

A:In recent years, along with the popularize of Full HD signal, digital design and LCoS overall process yield rate is significant improved. Meanwhile, it uses RGB LED light source with a color sequential driven portable projector, and becoming another cheaper design trends. These changes of marketing lead associated industries insisted before to reward of development. Currently, marketing leaders on LCoS technology included Sony, JVC, 3LCD, and TI, etc.

Currently, the mainstream Specifications of projector market are HD and Full HD. Meanwhile, Full HD level Content proportion is growing rapidly. And, storage media, transfer interface, general household, and theater level players are popularized. Market demand rises for Full HD format potable projectors due to the wide application for projectors.

As for LCoS semiconductor manufacturing, it use standard CMOS 8-inch wafer manufacturing process generally with 0.18 and 0.13-micron mature technology. For semiconductor manufacturers, such equipment have already amortized completed, the old equipment can be used to produce LCoS related products, prompting investors to maximize efficiency.

In LCoS LCD processing (LCA / LCM), there are 2 millions of annual capacity by LCoS LCD new factory which costs only about NT $ 4-5 billion. We believe that it will attract more industries to invest as the LCoS industry gradually grows.

It will contribute to the overall industry development in the future, and further improvement is expected on quality, yield rate, and cost.

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