A Glimpse into the China TFT-LCD Market
By Ed Hall and David Yu (SEMI®)
China has become a major hub in electronics manufacturing and is one of the most dynamic geographic areas of the electronics industry. Since 2000, a number of semiconductor fab projects have been announced and started there. Sizeable investments are also occurring in the thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) industry sector.
Panel fabrication is ramping up in China. Two of the largest manufacturers, Shanghai SVA-NEC and BOE Technology Group, are currently producing Generation 5 (G5) panels. Meanwhile, InfoVision Optronics (IVO) has constructed a G5 panel production plant and Shanghai Tianma will invest in a G4.5 TFT-LCD project. Additional investments in various stages of planning include a G2.5 project by Truly Semiconductor and a G6 fab by Shanghai SVA-NEC.
A majority of global TFT-LCD panel makers have also established liquid crystal module (LCM) assembly plants in China to leverage lower labor costs.
Given these projects and corresponding investments for increasing capacity, TFT-LCD volume of Chinese-owned TFT-LCD fabs will increase 17 percent in 2006. By 2008, capacity will top 5 million square meters. Several additional projects, including new Gen 6 fab and a possible Gen 7 fab, are in the early stages of planning and, if realized, could further increase China’s TFT-LCD production in 2009–2010.
Source: SEMI China TFT-LCD Industry Report, July 2006
As FPD manufacturing capabilities expand in China, a supply chain, consisting of both domestic and overseas companies, will develop to support the panel manufacturers.
There has been limited activity in the area of TFT-LCD materials and components in China. However, both foreign-owned and Chinese players are starting to build local facilities. NEC (NEC Lighting) is making cold cathode fluorescent lamps for backlight units. Corning and Nippon Electric Glass (NEG) both plan glass substrate plants in China. Recently, Shanghai SVA-NEC announced plans for producing G5 color filters internally with technology support from FujiFilm.
With investment in display production facilities likely slowing in the rest of the world, China could account for a larger share of the total world market for TFT-LCD manufacturing equipment. The China TFT-LCD industry will help China to continue to become one of the most dynamic geographic areas in the electronics industry.
Portions of this article were derived from the new “China TFT-LCD Industry Report” that provides extensive insight into China’s TFT-LCD fabs and its capacity plans and equipment needs. The report is an essential business tool for any company considering entry into, or is currently doing business in, the rapidly growing TFT-LCD market in China. Additional information regarding this report and other market research reports can be found at www.semi.org/marketinfo.