SANTA CLARA, CALIF. -- Global shipments of ultra high-definition (4K) LCD panels are forecast to grow 40-fold to reach 2.6 million units in 2013, according to the latest NPD DisplaySearch “Quarterly Large Area TFT Panel Shipment Report.”
The market analysts said 4K panel shipments totaled only 63,000 units in 2012.
DisplaySearch said TFT LCD panel suppliers will play a pivotal role in the adoption of 4K LCD TVs through the introduction of “innovative cost-effective technology solutions that will meet the anticipated demand for these devices.”
Panel suppliers, DisplaySearch said, are leveraging new technologies, including high-transmittance cell designs, high-output driver integrated circuits, and high-efficiency backlight units and integrated up-scaling circuits for 4K panels.
“To date, Innolux Corp. has been the most aggressive panel manufacturer in this market segment, developing a full lineup of 4K panels in the 39- to 85-inch range,” said David Hsieh, NPD DisplaySearch greater China market vice president. “Despite this, 4K by 2K panel manufacturers’ shipments are primarily focused on 50-inch, 55-/58-inch and 65-inch sizes, which are expected to have the highest volume shipments, especially in China.”
Panel manufacturers are also strengthening their relationships with LCD TV brands with more aggressive manufacturing and sales efforts, DisplaySearch noted.
Hsieh said, “4K LCD TV is the newest TV technology available, and in order for it to be successful, it will be critical for the supply chain to avoid falling behind when making their purchases, even if content is still scarce. Some panel makers are also working with design houses to develop circuits built into the panel, to enable up-scaling of HD to 4K content. This will help to drive the 4K LCD TV market and encourage panel makers, especially those that have already started design-in work with TV brands in 2013.”