Jessie Shen, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Tuesday 19 March 2013]
South Korea-based Silicon Works saw revenues from the LCD driver IC segment jump by over 100% in 2012, according to Digitimes Research in a recent report, which found that its fellow Taiwan-based peers managed growth of only 0-16%.
In terms of revenues, Taiwan-based companies including Novatek Microelectronics, Himax Technology, ILI Technology (Ilitek) and Raydium Semiconductor are all among the global top-10 suppliers of LCD driver ICs. However, the group is facing rising competition from its South Korean counterpart, said Ricky Tu, analyst for semiconductors at Digitimes Research.
Silicon Works is currently the largest South Korea-based supplier of LCD driver ICs. The firm also supplies time controller ICs and power management chips, but sales of LCD driver ICs account for the majority of its revenues.
Silicon Works has entered the supply chain for iPads by providing LCD driver ICs to LG Display since 2010, Tu indicated. Silicon Works already enjoyed significant revenue growth during the first half of 2011, buoyed by orders for the previously-announced iPad 2, Tu said.
Orders for the new iPad 4 and iPad mini tablets continued to boost Silicon Works' revenues in 2012, Tu pointed out. Sales of Silicon Works' LCD driver IC business topped KRW100 billion (US$90 million) in the second quarter of 2012.
However, unlike Taiwan-based LCD driver IC firms, which target applications ranging from handsets, PCs to LCD TVs, Silicon Works' driver IC solutions are dedicated to notebook and tablet applications. Due to an unfavorable product mix, Silicon Works' gross margin slid to 16.5% in 2012 from 22.5% in 2011.
Source: Company, compiled by Digitimes, March 2013