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5 Predictions of the Worldwide TFT-LCD and Semiconductor Industries

Published: Dec 31,2013

Drawing from the latest research, Taiwan`s MIC (Market Intelligence & Consulting Institute), an ICT industry research institute based in Taipei, proposes the following five predictions in the worldwide TFT-LCD (Thin Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Display) and semiconductor industries in 2014.

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1.Higher Resolutions for LCD TVs and Smartphones

MIC projects that the worldwide 4K2K LCD TV shipment volume will reach 13.51 million units in 2014, with penetration rate surging from 6.3% to 13.4% in 2015. Smartphone panels will feature WQHD (2560x1440) in 2014, higher than the currently adopted Full HD (1920x1808) and HD (1280x720) panels.

Chris Hung, Research Manager and Senior Industry Analyst at MIC, said that the increasing supplies of 4K2K panels will accelerate their penetration into products of mainstream screen sizes in 2014. As a broad range of the end-user products emerge, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese branded vendors will strengthen their 4K2K product lineup, thereby driving down product prices. The continuous price decline will in turn trigger an exponential growth in 4K2K TV penetration. Meanwhile, as more and more consumers use smartphones for entertainment, they prefer larger screens with higher resolutions. Recognizing this trend, some smartphone branded vendors have equipped their mid-range models with HD panels in the second half of 2013.

2.High-End TVs and Smartphones to Adopt Flexible Panels

In 2014, an increasing number of TV branded vendors will launch high-end products with flexible panels. Besides, some Korean vendors will begin mass production of flexible and AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) panels for smartphones in order to increase product differentiation and brand awareness.

Hung points out that most of the AMOLED production lines are located in Korea, accounting for over 95% of the worldwide capacity. With the government`s support for the domestic materials and equipment industries, Korean vendors are able to make flexible and AMOLED panels ahead of rivals.

3.Continued IC Scaling For High Performance

As ICs have advanced from dual-core to quad-core in 2013, it is expected that processor ICs will focus on high performance, low energy consumption, and small volume. In Taiwan, semiconductor foundries plan to begin mass production of 20-nm process in 2014. With the rapid development of IC scaling technologies, 14/16-nm processes are anticipated in 2015.

4.Demand for ICs of Various Functions and Heterogeneous Integration

End-user products that require high panel resolutions, slim and lightweight design, long standby time, and intuitive UI will unleash demand for ICs of various functions, such as high-speed transmission, sensor, touch control, power management, and wireless communications, giving rise to heterogeneous multi-layer packaging and 3D IC.

5.Greater Potential for Wireless and Sensor IC Markets

Bluetooth wireless technology will stretch into smart handheld devices, health care equipment, home appliances, automobile products, surveillance products, and wearable devices. The sensor hub can integrate data from different application processors, enabling 24-hr sensor monitoring on smartphones and tablets with minimum power consumption. This trend is anticipated to spawn demand for sensor ICs.

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