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Photonics in Taiwan Shows Strong Growth

Photonics Spectra
May 2006
Anne L. Fischer

The Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association of Taipei, Taiwan, has released a report on the state of the photonics market in the country. The organization’s mission is to work with private enterprises and government agencies to help boost the industry in Taiwan. It conducts research on the sector, analyzes development and identifies trends.

In the report, the industry is divided into the product categories of optoelectronic components, optical storage, flat panel displays, optical input and output devices, optical fiber communications, and lens components and lasers.

Biz-world-42-to-49_img_2.jpg

Figure 1. In 2005, the production value of the photonics industry in Taiwan broke the NTD 1 trillion mark, with flat panel displays leading the way.

In 2005, the production value of the photonics industry in Taiwan exceeded 1 trillion New Taiwan Dollars (NTD). Equivalent to about $31 billion, the sum amounts to a 16 percent share in the global market.

The flat panel display category, which includes projectors, LCDs and organic LEDs, leads the others in production value. The report indicates that growth in this sector will remain steady through 2008. In 2005, production of all devices in the category held a 31 percent global market share and had increased 35 percent from the previous year. 

The manufacture of optical storage devices such as CD-R’s and DVD and CD-RW drives holds a 17 percent share of the global market, unchanged from 2004. The optoelectronic components sector enjoyed a 10 percent growth, driven mostly by increased demand for digital still cameras and camera phones.

The report ranks the top 10 photonics products in Taiwan in 2005. In the No. 1 spot was the thin-film transistor LCD panel display, with a value of NTD 637 billion.

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Figure 2. The top 10 photonic products in Taiwan include displays, cameras, digital storage devices, lenses and scanners.

Both the LCD and the LED sectors are poised for growth, according to the association. The nation’s industry has invested not only in backlighting applications, but also in indoor LED lighting initiatives. White LEDs illuminate indoor facilities such as the first floor of Taipei’s Technology Building.

LEDs also are visible on the exterior of office buildings, such as the Shin Kong Life Tower in Taipei. And a project is under way to light Taiwan’s high-speed rail system, which is scheduled to open in October.

The report indicates that the photonics industry in Taiwan must continue to explore new applications to remain competitive and seek new market opportunities, gain intellectual property and patents, establish standards and boost research initiatives.


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