Optimizing its experience of shipping LCD driver ICs for HD displays used in iPads, Korea-based Silicon Works is expected to ramp up its shipments of display driver ICs for Ultra HD TV applications in 2014, according to Digitimes Research.
Silicon Works has entered the supply chains for iPad and MacBook through LG Display (LGD), with shipments of its LCD driver ICs for tablet applications reaching over 40% to its overall sales at the highest.
However, sales of Silicon Works' LCD driver business declined 14.8% on year to KRW322.65 billion (US$309.45 million) in 2013 due to a lack of new iPads and MacBooks in the first half of the year.
Although sales of Silicon Works' LCD driver ICs did bottom out in the second half of 2013, its revenues have not yet rebounded to over KRW100 billion a quarter as it posted in each of the last three quarters of 2012.
In comparison, Silicon Works' revenues in 2012 were lagging behind Taiwan-based rivals Novatek Microelectronics, Himax Technologies, Raydium Semiconductor and ILi Technology (Ilitek) but ahead of Orise Technology. In 2013, Silicon Works' ranking dropped to the last position among the six vendors, but still with its operating margin higher than that of Ilitek's or Orise's.
In 2014, Silicon Works is also expected to integrate its time controller ICs and power management ICs with LCD driver parts to further expand its sales. It has also begun shipping its LED driver ICs to LG Innotek and also delivering car-use ICs to clients for validation.
In addition to Silicon Works, most other Korea-based display driver IC vendors, including Lucid Display Technology (LDT), Clover Hitech and Technology Leaders and Innovators (TLI) also suffered a setback in sales in 2013.
LDT and Clover Hitech have seen shipping their display driver ICs to Samsung Display, but their shipments to Samsung Display have been less than those shipped by Silicon Works to LGD, resulting in a widened gap between the first- and second-tier driver IC suppliers in Korea, Digitimes Research commented.
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