China to surpass Japan in TFT-LCD panel production

Santa Clara, Calif. — As Chinese TFT-LCD suppliers start to ramp up production at next-generation fabs, China is expected to surpass Japan in large-area TFT-LCD panel production in the second quarter of 2011, according to DisplaySearch.

According to the latest DisplaySearch Quarterly Large-Area Production Strategy Report, large-area TFT-LCD panel production by Chinese makers, including mini-note, tablet PC, notebook, monitor, and TV applications, totaled 2.7 million units per month in the first quarter of 2011, compared to 3.2 million units per month from Japanese makers. China’s production is expected to rise to 3.4 million units in the second quarter of 2011, while Japan’s production is expected to fall to 2.3 million units.
DisplaySearch also expects China’s unit production to be higher than Japan from the third quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of 2012.

On an area basis, Japan will remain larger than China for some time due to its higher generation fabs, including Gen 6, Gen 8 and Gen 10, although Chinese companies like BOE, ChinaStar, and CEC-Panda will be ramping up Gen 6 and Gen 8 fabs within the year, followed by more expansions in 2012, said DisplaySearch.

However, Korean manufacturers continue to lead in large-area TFT-LCD production. “Korean makers continue to be the leader in large-area TFT LCD production, accounting for approximately half of global output, followed by Taiwanese makers, which account for about 40 percent,” said Shawn Lee, senior analyst for DisplaySearch, and the author of the quarterly report, in a statement.

“However, the likelihood that China will pass Japan may indicate the beginning of a phase in which China plays a more important role in the global flat panel display industry,” Lee added.