Strong Quarters Ahead for Taiwan Driver IC Firms

Several Taiwan-based panel driver IC specialists’ efforts to diversify and enhance further their product portfolios are set to bear fruit in the second half of 2018, when these companies are expected to enjoy double-digit sequential revenue growth in the third and fourth quarters, according to industry observers.

Meanwhile, the ongoing tight supply of 8-inch fab capacity will also help buoy Taiwan-based LCD driver IC firms’ gross margin performance in the second half of 2018, the observers said.

With the 8-inch foundry capacity set to stay tight coupled with the commercial availability of micro/mini LED and OLED displays, many Taiwan-based driver IC specialists will see their businesses boom with some likely to enjoy record profits and revenues in 2019, the observers noted.

Novatek Microelectronics, the largest Taiwan-based LCD driver IC supplier in terms of revenues, saw shipments of its TDDI single-chip solutions increase substantially in the second quarter of 2018. Shipments topped 40 million units in the second quarter, nearly quadrupling the about 10 million units in the first quarter, the company disclosed previously.

Novatek expects to ship 100 million units of TDDI single-chip solutions in all of 2018, when the high-ASP product will also make a positive contribution to the company’s profitability. Growing shipments of the segment already boosted Novatek’s gross margin above 30 percent in the second quarter.

Novatek is also gearing up for volume production of driver ICs for OLED panels in 2019, according to the observers. Besides, Novatek is about to ship TV SoC ships for 8K UHD applications, said the observers, adding they expect the company’s growth momentum to remain strong through 2019.

FocalTech Systems is another Taiwan-based LCD driver IC firm benefiting from the growing adoption of edge-to-edge displays among smartphones. FocalTech has also seen shipments of its TDDI chips ramp up in 2018.

In addition, Himax Technologies is expected to start shipping 3D sensing modules in the fourth quarter of 2018, the observers indicated. Shipments of its 3D sensing solutions are set to climb significantly in 2019, driven by orders for the iPhones and Android phones, the observers said.

Among other designers, Macroblock is eyeing the mini LED backlighting opportunities, while UltraChip has put increased focus on electronic shelf labels (ESL). Both are also expected to enjoy impressive financial results in 2019, according to the observers. – Digi Times

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