Taipei, Tuesday, March 31, 2015 12:07 (GMT+8)
partly cloudy
Taipei
30°C
Digitimes Insight: Earthquake impacts two major Japan LCD stepper makers
Jessie Lin, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei [Friday 18 March 2011]

Looking at TFT LCD equipment supply, although South Korea has improved its own equipment production capability in recent years, it still relies heavily on Japan for PECVD, sputter units and steppers.

Out of all the TFT LCD array equipment companies in Japan, Nikon and Canon, which dominate the stepper market, were particularly hit hard by the March 11 earthquake, and could send ripple through out the global TFT LCD equipment supply chain. Japan is the largest producer of LCD-use steppers.

Nikon represents 50-60% of the worldwide stepper market, and Canon about 40-50%. Nikon and Canon shipped 45 and 38 developers in 2009. The two companies have virtually monopolized the global market.

Nikon's and Canon's LCD stepper plants are located in areas stricken by the earthquake. The facilities have sustained structural damage and are experiencing power outage that has halted production operations. The two companies still have no precise schedules on when production can resume.

Nikon has subsidiaries across Japan. The subsidiaries affected by the earthquake are Sendai Nikon, Miyagi Nikon Precision, Tochigi Nikon and Tochigi Nikon Precision. Some buildings and equipment have sustained damage. Miyagi Nikon Precision and Tochigi Nikon Precision manufacture semiconductor and LCD stepper components.

Nikon is currently the leader in small- to medium-size LCD steppers. Its subsidiary Miyagi Nikon Precision supplies small-to-medium-size TFT LCD steppers for smartphones. It has previously planned to build a new facility nearby and commence production in July. However, due to the earthquake, the expansion plan has been moved back, and will likely impact the schedules of Japan and South Korea panel makers for expanding smartphone-use panel output.

Nikon shipped 62 LCD-use steppers in 2010, up from 45 units in 2009. In 2010, shipments of equipment for 7G or above totaled 33 units, about 53.2% of total shipments. The company is projected to grab a 60% share of the global developer market in 2012.

Canon also has production plants throughout Japan. The locations affected by the earthquake are the offices in Utsunomiya, Ami and Toride. Schedules for resuming operations are undetermined due to power outage, building damage and production shutdown.

The Utsunomiya office is responsible for the research and development of LCD steppers and houses a research center. The Ami office, which mainly produces steppers, will affect production and shipments. Toride mostly manufactures imaging business machines.

With LCD panel makers resuming capacity investments in the second half of 2009, Canon saw its stepper shipments rise from 38 units in 2009 to 56 unit in 2010. The company's target set prior to the earthquake was 38 units in 2011.

In addition, China now houses a large percentage of the world's new TFT LCD production lines. With many facilities based on 7G or above technologies scheduled to begin volume production in the second half of 2011 to 2012, Digitimes Research believes that TFT LCD companies that need steppers will likely see delays.

Major Japan LCD array equipment makers and South Korea's own production capability

Japan equipment makers

South Korea produces more than 50% on its own demand

South Korea produces less than 50% on its own demand

ULVAC

PECVD, sputter unit

Nikon

Stepper

Canon

Sputter unit, stepper unit

Tokyo Electron (TEL)

Developer

Dry-etching unit, photoresist coater,

DNS

Wet-etching unit, cleaner, stripping unit, developer

Photoresist coater, developer

Shibaura Mechatonics

Cleaner, developer, stripping unit

None

Source: Companies, compiled by Digitimes, March 2011

Damage to Nikon and Canon production plants

Plant locations

Earthquake scale

Damage

Nikon

Miyagi and Tochigi prefectures

5-6

Structural and equipment damage; schedules for resuming production undetermined

Canon

Miyagi and Ibaraki prefectures

6

Stepper plants shut down on March 14; schedules for resuming production undetermined; structural and equipment damage; affected by power outages

Source: Companies, compiled by Digitimes, March 2011

Source: Digitimes Research, March 2011

Source: Digitimes Research, March 2011

Source: Digitimes Research, March 2011

Realtime news
  • Sony Mobile aims to ship 38 million smartphones in FY2015, say sources

    Mobile + telecom | 34min ago

  • Taiwan market: Gogoro to launch Smartscooter in summer 2015

    IT + CE | 37min ago

  • China PV makers expect demand to rebound in 2Q15

    Green energy | 1h 11min ago

  • Foundry chipmaker Powerchip developing SoC for IoT

    Bits + chips | 1h 22min ago

  • IC distributor ANStek revenues and profits climb to 3-year highs

    Bits + chips | 1h 24min ago

  • Niching 2014 profits hit 3-year high

    Bits + chips | 1h 26min ago

  • UMC snatches high-end 28nm chip orders from TSMC clients

    Bits + chips | 1h 28min ago

  • Toshiba in talks to sell large stake of Egypt-based TV manufacturing facilities, says report

    Displays | Mar 30, 23:09

  • Asustek to add fingerprint ID function to ZenFone in 2H15, says paper

    Mobile + telecom - Newswatch | Mar 30, 23:02

  • IHS comments on Intel potential acquisition of Altera

    Bits + chips | Mar 30, 23:00

  • Epistar to start production of integrated power drivers based on Si substrates

    LED | Mar 30, 22:05

  • CPT reports decline for 2014 performance

    Displays | Mar 30, 22:01

  • Giga Solar Materials to deal out 2014 dividend of NT$15.00

    Green energy | Mar 30, 21:59

  • Asustek hopes to globally ship 30 million smartphones in 2015, says chairman

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:51

  • Inventec to set server production plants in Southeast Asia and Japan, says chairman

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:50

  • Lenovo plans to launch smartphones in Japan, says Nikkei

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:27

  • New government-sponsored technology research facilities kick off

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:26

  • Motherboard players already not expected to achieve shipment targets for 2015

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:24

  • Niching 2014 profits hit 3-year high

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:23

  • China government to halt investments for BOE 10.5G LCD facilities

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:22

  • Health care remains a focus for wearable vendors

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:21

  • Samsung Display looking to revamp OLED TV panel production

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:19

  • Foxconn nets NT$8.85 per share for 2014

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:18

  • Demand from China picking up, say IC design houses

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:16

  • Simplo pushing new businesses

    Before Going to Press | Mar 30, 21:15

Pause
 | 
View more
2015 global AP market forecast and vendor analysis
DIGITIMES Marketing Services
The transition to 4k TV - UHD TV market forecast, 2014-2017
  • Wireless broadband developments in Southeast Asia markets

    As of 2013, the 10 ASEAN nations had a total of over 700 million mobile subscriptions, with the CAGR from 2003-2013 reaching 24%. This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the various mobile broadband markets in ASEAN and looks at the respective trends in 4G LTE development for those markets.

  • 2015 global tablet demand forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report provides a 2015 forecast for the global tablet market and analyzes the strategies of key market players such as Google, Apple, Intel, and Microsoft.

  • 2015 China smartphone panel trend forecast

    This Digitimes Research Special Report analyzes the strategies of key China-based major panel makers BOE, Tianma and IVO for attacking the different market segments through technology and pricing, and their relationship to local vendors Huawei, Lenovo, ZTE, Xiaomi and Coolpad.