Recovery in flat-panel display biz

Written by Mark LaPedus for Semiconductor Engineering – Stay-at-home economy boosts demand, more capacity being built.

The flat-panel display market is starting to recover after a period of oversupply and lackluster growth, fueled by new technologies as well as more people working from home.

The flat-panel display market is complex. Several different technologies are at play, such as liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) for TV screens and other products, as well as organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) for smartphones. Cars, industrial equipment, PCs and tablets all incorporate flat-panel displays in one form or another. And for many products, the display is a big selling point for consumers.

For the flat panel market as a whole, 2019 was a tough year. Oversupply caused prices to drop, which in turn sparked some major changes in the landscape. Two South Korean suppliers — LG Display and Samsung — are retreating from the low-margin LCD business to focus on higher-end display technologies. Meanwhile, China-based suppliers have been building up a massive amount of fab capacity, with plans to dominate several sub-segments in the arena.

2020 was supposed to be another gloomy year. Then, the COVID-19 pandemic struck. A large segment of the population was (and is still) forced to work at home due to the pandemic, disrupting the world’s economies. If there is a silver lining, the work-at-home economy is fueling demand for several products, thereby jumpstarting the display market… Full article