AUSTIN, TEXAS: LED backlights are growing rapidly in large-area (10”+) TFT LCD displays. Panels with LED backlights reached 10.6 million units in Q1’09, up 63 percent Q/Q and 780 percent Y/Y, according to the latest DisplaySearch Quarterly LED Backlight Panel Shipment & Forecast Report.
According to the shipment plans of large-area TFT LCD makers, LED backlight panel shipments are likely to reach 104.5 million units in 2009. In Q4’09, penetration of LED backlight panels will be as high as 25 percent.
Currently, portable computers are the leading application for LED backlights, with 4.2 million LED backlit panels shipped for mini-note PCs (netbooks), or 100 percent LED penetration, and 5.9 million for notebook PCs, or 26 percent penetration, in Q1’09.
All mini-note PCs used wedge type LED backlight design, but it is expected that slim type backlights will be used starting in Q2’09. In Q1’09, 76 percent of notebook LED backlit panels used wedge-type light guide plates. HannStar led in shipments LED backlight panels for mini-note PCs, while LG Display was the leading supplier of LED backlit panels for notebook PCs.
In desktop monitors, LED backlit panels shipments were only 0.1 million in Q1’09, representing less than 0.5 percent of LCD monitor panels shipped in Q1’09. The value of LED backlights for LCD monitors is still not clear to end users, therefore the adoption is limited. For TVs, shipments of LED backlit LCD panels were 0.4 million in Q1’09, concentrated in 40”, 46” and 55” as Samsung launched side-lit LED TV models. Table 1 shows the top five LED backlit LCD panel makers in Q1’09.
Table 1: Q1’09 Top Five LED Backlight Panels Makers and Shares by ApplicationSource: DisplaySearch Q2’09 Quarterly LED Backlight Panel Shipment & Forecast Report
Mini-note panels will remain 100 percent LED in 2009, and the LED backlight supply chain and panel suppliers are focused on increasing LED backlight penetration in other applications this year.
In Q3’09, LED backlights will exceed CCFL backlights in notebook LCD panels, reaching 53 percent penetration. LCD TV panel makers are planning to ship 4.3 million panels with LED backlights in 2009, 68 percent side-light type and 32 percent direct. Table 2 shows the forecast of the top five LED backlight panel maker shares by application.
Table 2: Forecast of 2009 LED Backlight Panel Maker SharesSource: DisplaySearch Q2’09 Quarterly LED Backlight Panel Shipment & Forecast Report
According to David Hsieh, Vice President of DisplaySearch: “The driving factors for the fast growth of LED backlights are slim and lightweight form factor, lower power consumption, market differentiation, dimming backlight capability, wide color gamut, and the trend towards green displays. However, there are many challenges in LED backlight design, components availability and cost, and panel makers are working closely with LED backlight supply chain participants to increase shipments.”
Hsieh added: “The growing LED penetration in TFT LCD will raise new issues such as LED cost management, LED chip availability, and changes in backlight structure. As LED production shares the same capacity with the lighting market and many LED companies are evaluating the strategy for backlights, the market has some concerns over LED availability. We believe LED supply chain management will be a key success factor for panel makers and will reshuffle the competition landscape from now to 2010.”