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Press Releases
TrendForce: 2014 LCD TV Evolution Continues, 4K2K and Cured TVs in Focus

2013/12/12

Consumer Electronics / Display

According to WitsView, the display division of the global intelligence provider TrendForce, the 2013 global LCD TV shipment declines 17% to 2031 million units due to the sluggish global economic recovery and China’s ending subsidy policy The 2014 worldwide LCD TV shipment is likely to reach 2091 million units, rising 3% YoY (table 1) WitsView points out five bright spots in the 2014 LCD TV market, including 1Contineously growing TV sizes; 2Penetration rates as high as 99-100% for LED LCD TVs and 65-70% for D-LED TVs; 3 Ultra high-resolution 4K2K TVs strongly promoted by brands; 4Curve TVs targeting at top-class consumers; 5 Integration of smart-family system centered on smart TVs lifting the 2014 smart LCD TV penetration rate to 36%          Table 1:  2014 LCD TV Brands' BP ( million units) Based on WitsView’s estimation, the penetration rate will rise to 15-17% in 2014 from 12% in 2013 for the 50”-and-above LCD TVs, and from 185% this year to 23% for the sizes from 40” to 49” The mainstream 32”-and-under TVs see a market share dropping from 48% to 42%, and 4K2K LCD TVs hold a penetration rate rising from 1% this year(21-22 million units) to 81% in 2014(16-18 million units) on Chinese brands’ promotion As for the curve TV products launched by panel makers next year, main makers will start mass-production in Feb and March The end demands will be firstly dominated by Korean brands, SONY, and some Chinese brands, expecting a penetration rate only at 1-14% for next year    WitsView indicates the 4K2K targeting at the upgraded display technology to lift the resolution and color saturation and the curve TV that is crucial to the next deployment of flexible OLED and QLED technologies both are developing in an attempt to boost display technologies and applications to revive the sales in the market WitsView’s research director Burrell Liu indicates that the 2014 smart TV shipment growth will rise from 28% in 2013(569 million units) to 36% in 2014(76 million units) Although global brands devote significant resources to the smart TV, the product is still at the integration stage of software and hardware between brands and telecom companies and sees fierce competition between platforms In view of 2014 TV brands’ shipments by countries, Chinese brands’ shipment growth is 7-8% with a market share rising to 27-28%, Japanese brands’ growth momentum remains weak, seeing a 3% yearly growth and an 18-19% market share, while two leading Korean makers dominate the market, controlling a 36% market share and an 5-6% annual growth (table 2)  Table 2: Grwoth and Market Shares Table 3: LCD TV Types 

Press Releases
TrendForce: SK Hynix’s Wuxi Fab to Recover Fully from Fire Damage by Mid-January 2014

2013/12/12

Semiconductors

According to DRAMeXchange, a division of global research firm TrendForce, damages from the September 4 fire at SK Hynix’s DRAM fabrication plant in Wuxi, China caused a month-long cease in production, and global DRAM supply decreased by 10% in one single month Therefore, commodity DRAM price trend, initially projected to fall in the second half of the year, has risen by nearly 20% since the fire Average contract price for 4GB DRAM reached a high of US$33 in the second half of November However, SK Hynix placed top priority on resuming operations at the Wuxi fab, immediately sending in hundreds of experts to begin the recovery process and working round the clock to decontaminate the clean room Shortly after the incident, the memory makers replaced some of the fire-damaged equipment with machinery from its M11 fab, and newly purchased equipment has recently been moved into the Wuxi fab Currently, SK Hynix is on track for a full recovery by mid-January TrendForce provides the following update with the latest details regarding the recovery of the Wuxi fab: 1 Capacity at the Wuxi fab in October and November was 30K and 70K wafers per month, respectively A target capacity of 100K is set for December, and the plant is expected to return to fully loaded 130K wafers per month in January 2014 2 SK Hynix began moving newly purchased equipment into the Wuxi fab in December, and the memory maker has negotiated with vendors to have the new devices installed as quickly as possible The installation, which normally takes 4 to 6 weeks, is expected to be finished in 3 weeks 3 Once the Wuxi fab’s capacity returns to 130K wafers per month, production at SK Hynix’s plant in Korea will return to normal levels – DRAM capacity at the M10 fab will go back to 130K wafers per month, M12 capacity will be transferred back to the manufacture of NAND products, and the 50K wafers per month decrease at the M11 fab will be returned to NAND production as well 4 Worth noting, as SK Hynix did not completely rebuild the Wuxi fab’s clean room despite contamination from the fire and the power outage, whether production yield rates will return to pre-fire levels remains to be seen SK Hynix’s supply to PC OEMs began showing signs of shortage in November 5 As TrendForce previously estimated, the recovery will take 3 to 6 months If capacity is fully restored by mid-January, output from the Wuxi fab will return to normal levels in early March, during the traditional slow season Thus, DRAM market prices are expected to fall in the end of 1Q14, and TrendForce projects DDR3 4GB price will drop to a low of US$22~24 next year

Press Releases
TrendForce: Mobile DRAM to Become Mainstream within Industry, Account for 40% of DRAM Revenue in 2014

2013/12/12

Semiconductors

According to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, the impressive sales of smartphones and tablets have prompted DRAM manufacturers to gradually shift their focus from PC DRAM to Mobile DRAM since 2010 The proportion of DRAM revenues accounted for by the latter has risen from 14% in 2010 to about 35% this year, and is expected to show continuous growth in the next two years Based on comparisons of the supply bit growth figures, Mobile DRAM is likely to not only replace PC DRAM as the mainstream DRAM product in 2014, but also show the largest shipment numbers within the industry The three major DRAM manufacturers (Samsung, SK Hynix, New Micron Group) are each expected to direct attention from PC DRAM to Mobile DRAM despite the difficulties of adjusting the latter's design, product mix, and bringing the cost down In the coming periods, the amount of profits generated within the Mobile DRAM industry is expected to be noticeably different among the competitors depends on their core competence on Mobile DRAM area LPDDR3 to Become Mainstream in 2014 as Application Opportunities Increase TrendForce's assistant vice president, Avril Wu, notes that the demand for Mobile DRAM will remain strong as smartphone shipments continue to grow, and projects that next year's industry bit growth will surpass 40% With the integration between data and internet furthering、Android upgrades and 4G connectivity both raising the bar for hardware specs, the demands for increased Mobile DRAM content per box will likely continue In the high-end smartphone market, 3GB is expected to gradually become the mainstream format Looking at the Notebook market, given the increased opportunities for applying Mobile DRAM to Ultralike devices and the replacements of traditional DDR3, an increasing number of products are beginning to show respectable power management performances Various suppliers have begun to grow more active in their product development efforts as consumers begin showing interest in power saving features, light weight, and efficiency The proportion of the new LPDDR3 is currently anticipated to rise rapidly in 2014, and will eventually replace LPDDR2 as the mainstream product in the market In the same year, more and more LPDDR3 eMCP will be delivered to clients for testing The next generation LPDDR4 may be produced in limited quantities during 2015, and officially replace LPDDR3 as the mainstream item in 2016 Smartphone Sales to Boost Mobile DRAM Demand, Ensure Price Stability    Looking at the production side, given the encountered technological obstacles and the physical-limitation issues, more and more mainstream manufacturers are decelerating the pace at which they are migrating towards 25nm technology In the event that manufacturing costs do not decrease easily, and with the numbers of supplies tightening, the Mobile DRAM price reductions are projected to ease on a quarterly basis, and in turn give the three main DRAM manufacturers greater room for profit Regarding the issue of sufficiency, even though Mobile DRAM technically does not belong to the “commodity” product category, the general pattern shown in the 2014 supply and demand curve indicates the possibility of a tight Mobile DRAM supply situation in 2H14 With the DRAM industry's wafer start capacity not expected to undergo any major changes and the crowd out effect expected for various product lines, Mobile DRAM production is unlikely to experience any major growth, and the average retail prices are expected to remain steady As smartphones, tablets, and Ultralike products continue to use Mobile DRAM, both its usage rate and content per box are anticipated to grow TrendForce predicts that the Mobile DRAM contract prices will gradually increase as its supplies begin to tighten throughout 2H14 For next year, Mobile DRAM is anticipated to show the least price drop and become the DRAM industry’s most profit stable product

Press Releases
TrendForce: Tablet Software and Hardware See Difficulties on Differentiation, 2014 Shipment to Defend 20% Growth Target

2013/12/10

Display / Consumer Electronics

Based on the projection by WitsView, the display division of the global intelligence provider TrendForce, the tablet shipment is projected 229 million units for entire 2014, seeing an annual growth dipping to around 20% As the expectation that Windows 8 encourages tablets’ commercial application in 2014 is shattered, the dominant Android damps the possibility the OS lifts the sales momentum Besides, the hardware also is pressured by prices, making the spec launched by brands to gain little traction among consumers WitsView points out several challenges to the hardware differentiation Firstly brands launch 12”-and-above tablets to develop the niche market in 2014 Nevertheless, the large-sized product is contradictory to tablets’ two major values, easy mobility and affordable price, making the product hard to promote Secondly, the high-resolution product’’ obstacle of high price is hard to clear as it stumbles on the way Witsview indicates the core to the high-resolution tablets is the panel, and the panels with 300 PPI-and-above resolution see challenges on the capacity, yield, and cost Google’s 2nd generation Nexus 7 unveiled in H2’13 is equipped with high 300 PPI resolution but its elevated selling price is reflected on the poor sales, underlining tablet consumers are more sensitive about the price than about the spec Witsview continues to hold a conservative view on the high-resolution tablets’ sales in 2014   Last, as the hardware differentiation is hard to achieve, the best measure to stir sales comes to price cuts For 2013 Black Friday, HP has revealed a 7” tablet tagged at only $89, pressing down brands’ entry-level tablets’ prices to below $100 To lower costs, brands are forced to take into account the cheaper components, including the short-lived TN panels in H1’13 and the single layer touch modules commonly adopted by white-box makers, which will be determinants for brands to cut prices in exchange of sales volumes in 2014 WitsView indicates 2013 is a harsh year for white-box tablet makers as on top of brands’ price cuts that squeeze their room for survival, the sudden price surges of key component, such as DRAM, drain makers’ limited profits and force small makers to withdraw from the market As the emerging markets have strong demands for low-priced tablets, after several cruel eliminations, the existing white-box tablet makers are relatively strong and healthy in terms of finance and business scale and are able to integrate ample resources to share the low-priced tablet demands in developing economies, including South American countries and India Based on WitsView’s data, the 2014 tablet shipment growth will be down from 34% this year to 20%, while white-box tablets see an annual growth rising from 7% to 21% Source: WitsView

Press Releases
TrendForce: DRAM Industry Outlook Positive for 2014, Annual Sales Growth Likely to Exceed 10%

2013/12/05

Semiconductors

According to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce, 2013 has been a critical year for the DRAM industry Benefiting from the rising smartphone and tablet sales, the first tier DRAM manufacturers gradually shifted their attention to Mobile DRAM, a move which caused the eventual decline in PC DRAM production; In the periods following the fire accident at SK Hynix's Wuxi plant, 4GB module contract prices rose from US$17 to US$33, and gave DRAM manufacturers greater room for profit In the periods ahead, both the structural changes within the industry and the market's newly formed oligopoly are anticipated to pave the way for new opportunities TrendForce expects the DRAM industry to show the following five trends in 2014: 1、2014 DRAM Revenues to Rise by 12%, Show Growth for Second Consecutive Year since Financial Crisis Due to the transformation of the DRAM industry into an oligopoly, the exit of Taiwanese DRAM manufacturers, and the effects of SK Hynix's fire accident in 2H13, DRAM revenue is estimated to grow by 325% YoY to US$352 billion in 2013 Looking at 2014, as the difficulties associated with the 20nm migration process increases, the industry bit supply growth is expected to slow down ASP, meanwhile, is anticipated to decline on a gradual basis as manufacturing costs improve With DRAM manufacturers not actively seeking to migrate to new manufacturing technologies and the focal point of their strategies shifting to making product mixes more adjustable, TrendForce believes next year's DRAM market value will rise by 12% YoY to US$ 395 billion This is expected to be the year during which DRAM manufacturers show the most disciplined behavior on the production end since the financial turmoil in 2009 2、Industry to Become More Profitability Stable in 2014 following Micron's Official Acquisition of Elpida and Market’s Transformation into Oligopoly  After officially acquiring Elpida in August 2013, the scale of the new Micron group's revenue has reached close to that of SK Hynix Together, SK Hynix, Samsung and Micron account for roughly 90% market share of the DRAM industry, a sign that the market has officially become an oligopoly As each of the three major DRAM manufacturers in the industry possesses its own NAND Flash manufacturing technology and has flexible room for adjusting product mix, the DRAM market’s price movements are expected to remain stable, and the profitability trend is anticipated to continue into 2014  3、Mobile DRAM to Officially Become Mainstream as Proportion of PC DRAM Declines Due in part to the rising sales of smartphones and tablets, an increasing number of DRAM manufacturers have entered the Mobile DRAM market and are gradually decreasing the amount of PC DRAM produced In 2014, TrendForce projects Mobile DRAM will account for nearly 36% of the DRAM market in the output bases and become the new mainstream product, whereas PC DRAM’s market share is only expected to be 30% Looking at the specific Mobile DRAM product lines, the proportion of LPDDR3 is currently expected to grow at a more rapid pace in the smartphones and tablets adoption In addition to the said mobile devices, LPDDR3 is expected to also exert considerable impact on the Ultralike market thanks to its ability to save more power than traditional DDR3 and allow for longer hardware operating times Taking into account the overall momentum on the demand side, TrendForce believes the supplies of LPDDR3 will officially surpass that of LPDDR2 in 2H14 as it becomes a mainstream product within the industry 4、Use of 2Xnm Manufacturing Process to Rise in 2014, Design Difficulties to Affect Migration Progress In 2H13, DRAM manufacturers have encountered various difficulties while trying to migrate to 2Xnm technology Given the physical limitations, even companies such as Samsung and SK Hynix are having problems improving their production yield rate and volumes As the purchase of EUV equipments would be necessary for implementing the 25nm-and-under processes, the amount of financial resources spent will be noticeably greater than when the immersion scanners were used Due to the aforementioned limitations, mass production is unlikely to be achieved with the latest EUV developments, and the exact schedules for when DRAM manufacturers will transition to the below 25nm process remain uncertain TrendForce estimates that the DRAM manufacturers will still mainly use 2Xnm technology in 2014, but believes that the migration progress could be halted by design-related obstacles 5、DDR4 to be Introduced in 2H14 and Used in Server DRAM First As the dynamics on the demand side changes and the numbers of portable devices increase, the boundaries among memory components have become increasingly less clear compared to the previous months Mobile DRAM is now being used in the Notebook market, for instance, whereas low cost tablet manufacturers are beginning to contemplate using PC DRAM due to cost considerations For Server DRAM, an increasing amount of emphasis is placed on not just retaining stability, but also maintaining speed and low power consumption According to the specs released from JEDEC, the voltage of DDR4 will likely only be 12V, while its speed could reach up to as high as 3200 Mhz First tier DRAM manufacturers are expected to begin mass producing DDR4 in 2014, but will only apply the component to Server DRAM in the initial stages The product is expected to be introduced to the PC market in the later periods, and may replace DDR3 as the market mainstream in 2015     

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