DisplaySearch: Flat Panel Display conference

At the recent Flat Panel Display conference held by DisplaySearch, component makers discussed new equipment, glass and films, designed to make flat-panel displays better and less expensive.
According…

At the recent Flat Panel Display conference held by DisplaySearch, component makers discussed new equipment, glass and films, designed to make flat-panel displays better and less expensive. According to Charles Annis, vice president of manufacturing research for DisplaySearch, panel makers saw a huge drop in profitability in 2009 because they invested so much in new capacity, but were then hit with the recession. However, the industry has seen a significant recovery in 2010, thanks to growing demand, particularly in China. Annis said that strong demand is expected over the next few years, and panel makers are reacting by building new manufacturing plants. With regards to technology, he added, there is a lot of work being carried out on “high transmission“ manufacturing. This allows for higher contrast ratio (connected to LED backlighting), new colour filter technology to improve colour reproduction, and technology to enable easier manufacturing of 240Hz. Annis said that LED backlighting in TVs is expected to grow from 3% of the market in 2009 to 20% in 2010; and by 2016, all LCD TVs will pobably use LED backlights. He also said that there had been a glass shortage for part of 2009, but the situation has improved in 2010. Annis also noted that most of the investment is in Gen 8 and Gen 6 factories, while Sharp now has a Gen 10 plant, and other manufacturers are expected to follow. Applied Materials“ chief displays marketing officer Bruce Berkoff forecasts much higher growth in the display industry, pushed by new applications from tablets to larger TVs. Over the past 15 years, there has been a 20-times cost reduction per area in LCD manufacturing, and the number of TVs sold could reach 400 million by 2015, he said.