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        Makers of TFT-LCD modules are boosting output and stepping up to new-generation LCD production lines to keep pace with electronics trends.

        Number of visits: Date:2013-04-26

        Touchscreen and LED backlighting technologies are shaping China’s TFT-LCD module industry. In line with trends in consumer electronics, particularly the popularity of the iPod, iPhone and iPad, more releases now incorporate capacitive touch panels. Some companies have developed transmissive and transflective sunlight-readable models.

        LED-backlit panels measuring larger than 40in are forecast to register faster growth than staple small and midsize units, according to DisplaySearch. Modules belonging to the last two categories are typically targeted at portable terminals, automotive onboard displays, industrial apparatuses, medical equipment and amusement devices.

        Makers in China are also increasing resolution and supporting 3D capability. Other R&D trends point to higher brightness, wider viewing angle and operating temperature range, lower power consumption and anti-glare.

        With mobile phones still the top application, a-Si TFT-LCD modules remain dominant. More than 60 percent of handsets this year will adopt it, while upscale phones go for LTPS.

        Most enterprises are optimistic of continued growth after registering as much as 40 percent upturn last year. Although the global industry experienced an oversupply in 2H10, a rising number of local manufacturers are looking to expand capacity to meet mounting domestic demand and boost overseas business. A few are in fact bolstering exports. China Display Technology Co. Ltd attended the 2011 International CES last January to reach more clients from the US and Europe. Its new factory in Huangshan, Anhui province, will start operations in June, churning out capacitive touchscreen panels and 3D glasses.

        Tianma, meanwhile, has commenced manufacture of TFT LCDs and color filters at its Wuhan province facility. Once in full operation, the plant will have a monthly capacity of 30,000 panels, 90,000 color filters and 20 million TFT-LCD modules. The enterprise is authorized to establish a national standard for onboard TFT modules for cars. Its Chengdu factory in Sichuan province has also started mass-manufacturing TFT-LCD modules.

        BOE has finished building its 8G TFT-LCD line, which aims to yield 2,200x2,500mm panels for 26, 32, 47, 52 and 55in LCD TVs.

        If the 8.5G lines of BOE and TCL kick off mass production by end-2011, China is expected to surpass the capacity of Japan and become the third-largest hub for this line worldwide.

        Optimism for the sector and the low technology threshold have been expanding China’s maker pool, which currently numbers nearly 100. More than half of manufacturers are clustered in the Pearl River Delta region, taking advantage of the area’s solid supply chain and local government subsidies. Others are located in the Yangtze River Delta region, Fujian province and in the port city of Dalian in Liaoning province.

        Many major globalplayers also have manufacturing facilities in China.

        With production costs rising in eastern coastal areas due to mounting labor and operational expenses, a number of tier 1 manufacturers have set up new factories inland to skirt both issues. Wuhan, Sichuan and Anhui provinces are among the top options. Plant equipment is typically purchased from Japan, South Korea and the US.

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