LCD makers have a heart of glass
Displaysearch produced an analysis of TFT LCD screens showing a breakdown of panels on different fab generations.
Some panel makers will have generation ten fabs up and running in the fourth quarter of this year, but different sizes are made using different factories depending on cost efficiency and use, rather like other semiconductors. The cost of TFT can be reduced by ramping up the number of panels produced on one substrate.
Interestingly, while most netbook panels and 82.8 percent of notebook glass are made using Gen 5 fabs, there's a shortage of glass substrates for the thin film transistors (TFTs), meaning that supplies will be tight in the next few months, according to Displaysearch.
Displaysearch says that the top five TFT LCD manufacturers will account for 89.2 percent of panel production by area in 2009. The market research firm said they will input 105 million square meters of glass substrate for large area panels during this year, up 15.5 percent from 2008.
Samsung will process 28.9 million square meters of glass during this year - representing 27.5 percent of the total. LG Display will input 25 million square meters (23.8 percent), AU Optronics 17 million square meters (16.2 percent), Chin Mei Optronics 16.8 million square meters (16 percent) and Sharp six million square meters (5.7 percent).
David Hsieh, VP of Displaysearch said: "TFT LCD production will experience another wave of changes as Gen 8 production is increasing, and Gen 10 is expected to come online by Q4 of 2009."
What happened to Generation 9? Here's the Displaysearch breakdown of large area TFT LCD production unit share by Fab Generation. The data is from its Quarterly Large Area Production Strategy Report. Displaysearch produced an analysis of TFT LCD screens showing a breakdown of panels on different fab generations. Displaysearch is here.