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LCD TVs Drive Strong Panel Sales

Photonics Spectra
Aug 2008
Anne L. Fischer

With growing interest in large-screen flat panel televisions, the market for thin-film transistor LCD panels is on the upswing. But as the industry moves from eighth- to 10th-generation manufacturing, upgraded processes are required. A report titled “Next Generation Manufacturing Technologies for the Large Area TFT-LCD Panel,” released in May 2008 by Displaybank Co. Ltd. of Gyeonggi-do, Korea, focuses on the array patterning and color filter manufacturing processes.

BWTFT_Graph.jpg

The growth in large thin-film transistor LCD panel sales is expected to be strong through 2012, with the highest rate of demand (17.1 percent compound annual growth rate) for LCD TV panel applications. YoY = year over year. Source: Displaybank Co. Ltd.


The report discusses the three-mask manufacturing process and compares it with four- and five-mask processes. A section also covers the maskless patterning process technology, with a look at direct imaging and patterning as well as at maskless patterning that uses digital micromirror device technology.

In an introductory section on color filter technology, improvements in the opening ratio are discussed, along with the role of the black matrix.

Several chapters are devoted to printing, with topics ranging from nanoimprinting and roll printing to inkjet. The report looks at current conditions in the development of the technologies by manufacturers, including LG Display Co. Ltd. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., both of Seoul, South Korea; AU Optronics Corp. of Hsinchu, Taiwan; and Toppan Printing of Tokyo. There is a technology over-view for each type of printing as well as trends and forecasts. In the section on roll printing, analysis of technical issues and plans for improvement include alignment and color mixture, uneven wear, foreign substances, and cliché, blanket and roll problems. Also discussed are dry-film photoresist, laser direct-imaging and laser-induced thermal imaging technologies.

Overall, the report forecasts a bright future for large thin-film transistor LCD panels, with a compound annual growth rate of just more than 11 percent through 2012. Analysts expect the gross investment in 2009 to be $210 billion, which is higher than the previous record high in 2005.


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