NPD has forecasted display driver integrated circuit (IC) market to reach $7.3 billion in 2018, up from $6.4 billion in 2012. Along with the increase in LCD panel shipments from smart phones to televisions, The other reasons for the growth includes demand for higher resolution, higher average selling prices, integrated functions, according to NPD.
“With higher resolution displays demanding high channel display driver ICs, and the growing trend in smartphone display driver ICs integrated with touch controllers, display driver ICs continue to occupy semiconductor and foundry companies,” said Tadashi Uno, director of materials and components market research.
The demand for gate drivers is reducing due to the trend where LCD panels use gate-on-array (GOA) technology, but the demand for source driver IC is increasing due to high resolution screens.
NPD says the demand for smartphone panel source driver ICs is expected to triple between 2012 and 2018, and revenue is expected to grow from $139 million in 2012 to $325 million in 2018. Semiconductor makers are increasingly adding functions previously located in the processor to small and medium panel driver Ics, finds NPD.
There is also shortage of display driver Ics due to the semiconductor chip foundry giving less priority due to the huge demand for SOC chips. So due to the shortage of production the driver IC and timing controller (TCON) chips shortage is expected to continue according to the NPD analyst Tadashi Uno.
Below are some of the other findings disclosed by NPD in its latest release:
With strong design wins among Taiwanese and Chinese panel suppliers, Novatek led the large-area display driver IC market in 1H’14, with a 28% share, followed by Samsung Semiconductor with 19% and Lusem with 15%. Samsung Semiconductor and Lusem are the main driver IC suppliers for Samsung Display and LG Display, respectively.
Renesas SP driver IC s, which are used by many small and medium display makers in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, led the small/medium display driver IC market in 1H’14 with a 33% share, followed by Novatek with 28%, Samsung Semiconductor with 16%, Orise with 7%, and Himax with 5%.
With the trend toward integration between smartphone display driver ICs and touch panel controllers—called touch and display driver integration (TDDI)—touch controller companies have started to acquire driver IC makers to compete in the market more effectively, with Synaptics and FocalTech announcing acquisitions of Renesas SP and Orise, respectively. The advantages include simplifying signal cables and ICs, and reducing costs for the flexible printed circuit (FPC) and assembly. “The semiconductor integration process and business model adjustment will be crucial to the success of TDDI,” Uno said.