Display driver IC (DDI) backend specialists including ChipMOS Technologies and Chipbond Technology have seen demand for large-size panels pick up since the fourth quarter of 2021, driven by better-than-expected TV sales during China's Double 11 promotion campaigns, according to industry sources.
Panel makers with larger proportions of output for consumer-use or standard-specification applications in large-volume shipments will be more affected by fluctuations in operating environment in 2022, according to Paul Peng, chairman and CEO of AU Optronics (AUO).
The total display area of LCD TV panels shipped in fourth-quarter 2021 is estimated to be 4.4% in excess of demand and consequently December quotes for such applications of all sizes are expected to continue to drop, according to Sigmaintell Consulting.
The power crisis in China has reduced the output of LCD panels used for TVs. With the panel price expected to return to normal, South Korean companies such as Samsung Display (SDC) and LG Display (LGD) are set to benefit.
Better-than-expected TV sales during China's Double 11 online shopping festival signals that global demand for TVs is beginning to pick up, and LCD TV panel prices will rebound in the first or second quarter of 2022, acording to Frank Ko, president and COO Frank Ko at panel maker AU Optronics (AUO).
Smart retail solution provider Space4M, a subsidiary of AU Optronics (AUO), and miniLED solution provider PanelSemi, a subsidiary of Innolux, have jointly developed a solution of displaying drone e-sports race tracks on a flexible fine-pitch miniLED display.
The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF) issued a report in September titled "How an Information Technology Agreement 3.0 would bolster global economic growth and opportunity," which is likely to ignite a new round of policy deliberation and debate among emerging countries that have not participated in the previous round of ITA. DIGITIMES tapped on the insight of Stephen Ezell, VP of Global Innovation Policy at ITIF, to discuss why it is essential now to start related policy considerations, as the demand for semiconductor capacity, the repositioning of global supply chains, and the call to deal with climate change and fulfill the UN Sustainable Development Goals require an ITA-3 in place sooner rather than later.
During this year's Double 11 online shopping festival initiated by Alibaba, China saw better-than-expected TV sales at 4.224 million units for CNY11.66 billion (US$1.83 billion), respectively increasing 10.7% and 17.0% on year, according to China-based All View Cloud (AVC).
While Samsung Electronics expects its TV sales volume in 2021 to decrease 10-15% on year, QD(quantum dot)-OLED TVs are likely to help Samsung maintain profitability from TV sales, according to industry sources.
Taiwan-based COF (chip on film) OSAT (outsourced semiconductor assembly and test) service providers such as ChipMOS Technologies and Chipband Technology as well as COF substrate supplier JMC Electronics hold the general opinion that fourth-quarter 2021 demand for COF packaging/testing services for DDI (display driver ICs) used in large-size panels will not slip or is likely to grow slightly on quarter.
While demand for DDI (display driver ICs) used in TVs and Chromebooks has turned relatively weak, there is little room for prices for DDI used in TV-, monitor- and notebook-use panels to slip back to levels in 2020, according to DDI design houses.
Chip shortage has plagued many industry sectors for months, partly due to insufficient foundry support. But MediaTek has struck deals with pure-play foundry houses for making its 5G chips in 2021 and beyond. In China, memory firms are looking to ramp up output for DDR3, a segment where their Korean counterparts are exiting. And China LCD panel makers are also fast expandig production capacity.
PMOLED panel maker RiTdisplay has stepped into production of batteries, UPS and energy storage systems by investing in lithium battery maker RiTwin and energy management solution developer Han-Win Technology, according to the company.
Displays using microLED technology feature high brightness and resolution, quick response and slimness, and the technology is promising. But there are some misconceptions and over-expectations about microLED.
Dispaly panels will be in oversupply in 2022, for China-based makers' additional production capacities will gradually come into operation, according to Wu Hsu-ho vice president at Taiwan-based LCD maker HannStar Display.
Taiwan recorded exports of US$40.14 billion for October 2021, hitting a record for fourth consecutive month with growth of 1.2% sequentially and 24.6% year-on-year, while the corresponding imports totaled US$34.02 billion, second highest-ever monthly figure which rose 2.4% sequentially and 37.2% year-on-year, according to the Ministry of Finance (MOF).
Innolux shipped12.04 million large-size TFT-LCD panels and 24.59 million small- to medium-size ones in October, decreasing 7.1% and 15.1% respectively on month, while HannStar Display shipped 27.21 million small- to medium-size LCD panels as well as 367,000 monitor-use panels and monitors for sale under own brand Hannspree in the month, respectively shrinking 19.1% and 43.0% on month.
Taiwan-based AU Optronics (AUO), Innolux and HannStar Display together shipped 73.755 million large-size (9-inch and above) TFT-LCD panels in third-quarter 2021, growing 2.54% sequentially, and are forecast to ship 71.843 million units in fourth-quarter 2021, slipping 2.59% sequentially, according to DIGITIMES Research.
General Interface Solution (GIS) has reported third-quarter 2021 operating profit margin at 3.74%, rising 0.98pp sequentially and 3.48pp year-on-year, thanks to volume production of integrated touch and display modules used in miniLED-backlit tablets, according to the company.
Foxconn is bent on breaking the barriers to the carmaking industry. Foxconn chairman Young-Way Liu, speaking at the NATEA-orgainized the US-Taiwan High-Tech Forum, said he believes Taiwan, with its prowess in the semiconductor sector, stands a good chance of succeeding in the EV sector. At the same event, Applied Materials corporate VP Brian Shieh shared his views on the outlook of the display industry. In the semiconductor sector, TSMC is on track to move its 3nm node to volume production on schedule.