With the rise of demand for the Internet of Things, automotive electronics, and smart homes, the demand for LCD driver ICs and micro-controllers (MCUs) that drive power management has climbed, and the number of LCD driver ICs that have been pushed out to 8-inch wafer foundries has dropped. According to the latest observations, as wafer foundries increase the cost of OEM chips for 8-inch wafers, LCD driver IC makers may increase IC offer prices by 5-10% to panel makers in the first quarter to reflect rising costs.
LCD liquid crystal driver IC
Since the price of 8-inch semiconductor wafers in the first quarter has increased, and the critical equipment in 8-inch fabs is out of stock, the demand for used equipment is in short supply. Therefore, wafer foundries cannot massively increase 8-inch wafer foundry capacity in the short term. However, with increasing demand for MCUs, power management ICs (PMICs), and fingerprint identification ICs, the production capacity of 8-inch wafers is tight. As a result, the foundry industry has notified customers that they will increase the price of the first 8-inch wafer foundry by 5 to 10%. Since the shortage of upstream silicon wafers still has no solution within a short period of time, wafer foundries began to adjust the product portfolio of 8-inch fabs in the second half of 2017, hoping to maximize profits, in addition to upgrading wafer foundry. The price also reduces the amount of LCD driver ICs with lower prices.
In recent years, due to the price competition of panel makers, the prices of LCD driver ICs have fallen sharply. They have long been synonymous with low-margin products in the heart of wafer foundries. When demand for more profitable power management ICs or MCUs is dug up, they are just giving crystals. The Circle Foundry has a great opportunity to adjust, and it is estimated that by the first quarter of 2018, the wafer-carrying LCD driver ICs will be revised down by about 20%. The affected LCD driver ICs are mainly used in IT panels such as HD TN/FHD TN and other low-end products. After Korean companies gradually withdrew from the low-end IT panel market, related suppliers are currently based only on AUO, Innolux, and BOE in the Greater China region. Even though the first season is the traditional off-season of the IT industry, branding will be relatively conservative. However, the tight supply of LCD driver ICs may also affect the supply of the panel. The main reason is that the delivery time of LCD driver ICs is generally extended. More than 10 weeks. Although it is not observed that the panel is out of stock due to insufficient supply of LCD driver ICs, it is foreseeable that the flexibility of product scheduling within the panel maker will become smaller. Whether it is to insert urgent orders or advance delivery, it will Limited by the availability of LCD driver ICs.
LCD liquid crystal driver IC
In order to increase production capacity, LCD driver IC makers are considering switching to other process chips or accelerating the verification of wafer foundries in mainland China to obtain additional available production capacity. They also continuously inquired about panel makers' LCD chip ICs rising in the first quarter. The acceptance of price. In this regard, the panel plant may have the opportunity to agree to the relevant price increase proposal to ensure the supply of LCD driver ICs.