The success of the display industry used to rise and fall with the fortunes of the TV industry, but this is no longer strictly true, as industry analyst Paul Semenza from NPD DisplaySearch made clear in his Monday seminar presentation, “The Display Industry Shifts to Mobile.”
Revenues are growing in displays but not in large-area displays. In 2010, mobile displays represented 10% of the total display market; by next year, they will make up 50%. “The industry is shifting away from bigger and bigger displays,” said Semenza, adding that he believes fabs will top out at Gen 10.
In an apparent contradiction, at the same time that smaller mobile devices are gaining momentum, the size of mobile device displays is getting bigger. More smartphones with displays larger than 4 inches are coming in 2014, and larger iPads (12.9-in.) are due out soon.
In addition, 4K smartphones are on the way. “It’s hard to say what you would actually do with a 4K smartphone,” said Semenza, to laughter in the audience, “but it indicates the drive toward higher resolution.”
Last, he noted that larger screens and higher resolutions in mobile devices increase power consumption. New backplane technology is needed in order to support these features. LTPS and oxide are possible solutions, but getting it right is a high priority for the industry right now. -- Jenny Donelan