IC firms vie over booming automotive display market

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TAIPEI — Taiwanese IC companies said on Sunday that their primary objective this year will be to capture a share of the rapidly expanding market for automotive display chips.

According to U.S.-based research organization IHS Inc., shipments of automotive displays rose 33 percent year-on-year in 2014 to 87.3 million units, with the total output value growing 26 percent to US$848 million.

Automotive applications have become the second largest market for small- to medium-sized display panels, after smartphones, IHS said.

In contrast, the market for smartphone displays last year grew 4 percent to US$1.2 billion, according to IHS.

Among Taiwanese companies looking to carve out a share of the automotive display IC market, FocalTech Systems Ltd. (敦泰) said the company is hoping to obtain the required product certifications and begin shipping ICs for automotive panels before the end of this year.

Himax Display (奇景光電) saw its automotive display IC revenues increase by 50 percent last year, helping the company’s overall sales of ICs for small- and medium-sized panels grow 7.3 percent on the year.

The company said that while it expected a 15-20 percent decline in orders for smartphone and tablet computer panel ICs in the first quarter amid weaker demand from China, it is expecting modest growth in automotive display ICs.

The company said it hopes to leverage its long-term collaborations with major panel and module makers to expand its hold on the automotive display market and its share of business with top automotive parts brands.

Novatek Microelectronics Co. (聯詠), a bellwether Taiwanese display driver IC company, has also gotten involved in the automotive display market.


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