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Press Releases
TrendForce: China to Account for 24% of Global Gen5-and-above Capacity in 2015

2013/12/17

Display

Based on the survey on the global large-sized TFT-LCD capacity by WitsView, the display division of the global intelligence provider TrendForce, as there is no large global capacity expansion in 2013 and the demand for IT products is weak, panel makers shift some of the Gen5 and Gen6 capacities to high-end products, including wide viewing angle and LTPS, and to the productions of mid-and small- sized panels and touch sensors That leads to a 21% drop in the large-sized TFT-LCD available capacity, which reaches 1949Mn m2, compared to 2012 Three new Gen85 fabs respectively built by SDC, BOE, and LGD will get operational in China in 2014, and the available capacity is expected to reach 2022 Mn m2, rising 38% from 2013 “As we observe the fluctuations between fabs of all generations, it clearly shows that the Gen5 holds a declining percentage for large-sized panel production 2013 sees an 116% drop from 2012, and what is rising is the mid-and small-sized panels which are more demanded and generate higher profits,” WitsView research manager Boyce Fan said “The trend will be even more obvious as larger-generation fabs get operational” Based on WitsView’s data, in view of the Gen85 capacity, 2014 will show 121% growth from 2013, contributed by SDC’s Gen85 in Suzhou, BOE’s Gen85 in Hefei, and LGD’s Gen85 in Guangzhou According to WitsView’s deep analysis of the Gen5-and-above capacity in all worldwide regions, in 2015 eight Gen85 fabs will start mass-production in China, and the nation then will hold a rising proportion of Gen5-and-above capacity, from 138% in 2013 to 245%, near Taiwan’s 281% The capacity continues to rise, in contrast to the softening demand growth momentum, and downstream clients’first choices to purchase panels will be panel prices and makers with system assembly ability, enforcing Chinese makers’advantages in this domain In addition, with China’s lifted import tariff on panels, China will secure a perfect spot in the global panel supply chain and inevitably outpace Taiwan while catch up with Korea, bringing substantial impacts to Taiwan’s entire supply chain of the TFT-LCD industry Figure: 2013-2015 Global Large-sized TFT-LCD Available Capacity Source:WitsView

Press Releases
TrendForce: Polysilicon’s Market Momentum Continues, Suppliers to Increase Contractual Polysilicon Price

2013/12/16

Energy

EnergyTrend, a research division of TrendForce, indicates that although PV industry is entering the traditional off-peak season, demand is likely to remain strong due to the 4Q13 performance The utilization rate for major manufacturers in both Taiwan and China remains high, and their demand toward upstream raw material is still strong It causes polysilicon market trade to stay active recently, with spot price rising continuously As indicated by EnergyTrend’s investigation, it’s not possible for polysilicon price to increase substantially in the short run Meanwhile, most of the manufacturers are optimistic about the overall PV market in 2014, projecting demand from Japan and China will continuously increase Furthermore, with Western markets demanding more high-efficiency products, manufacturers have started to shift their focus toward this area On the other hand, since the utilization rate for major manufacturers has almost or already reached 100%, many of them have initiated capacity expansion plans, which helped raise upstream raw material demand and pulled up the spot price Because of these developments, polysilicon manufacturers have turned more stubborn toward the contractual price next year EnergyTrend also noticed that auxiliary material supply for polysilicon manufacturers has started to decline Thus, auxiliary material supply shortage may cause contractual price to increase next year Yet, the increased range will have to depend on how buyers and sellers negotiate Based on EnergyTrend’s investigation, suppliers’ target price next year is above US$10/kg, while buyers hope to keep the price within US$05/kg EnergyTrend believes buyers and sellers will not stop negotiating in the short run due to their different expectations on price In addition to the strong market transactions which allowed manufacturers to revise the price upward, changes within Chinese policies also have large impact toward polysilicon market According to EnergyTrend’s investigation, China will come up with stricter polysilicon import policies next year Although China has announced polysilicon anti-dumping and countervailing policy and imposed heavy punitive tariffs on European and US imports this year, Western manufacturers have found loopholes in the government’s so-called “handbook” to avoid the punitive tariffs As a result of the policies being rendered useless, Chinese polysilicon manufacturers have recently requested for stricter anti-dumping regulations It’s projected that the Chinese government may cancel or limit the conditions listed in the “handbook” next January However, based on the current Chinese polysilicon price, simply cancelling the handbook may raise polysilicon price once again and increase the production cost for downstream manufacturers Hence, downstream manufacturers are getting ready to oppose it Whether the stricter regulations will be put into practice next January remains to be seen Assuming the “handbook” is cancelled as expected, EnergyTrend believes that polysilicon market may come up with different scenarios: 1) In order to maintain the market share in China, foreign manufacturers will revise the customs price downward to stay competitive in the Chinese market Also, production cost may drop further for manufacturers outside of China 2) Foreign manufacturers  maintain basic price and passively lower supply in the Chinese market The extra capacity may be used for semi-conductor raw material They may even use legal means to request manufacturers outside of China to comply with relevant contracts Yet, whether polysilicon price will decrease depends on the result of negotiation Judging from the spot market’s overall performance, since Chinese polysilicon price remains high and suppliers’ quotation continues to increase in December, last week’s price reflects an uptrend, with average price reaching US$17373/kg, a 099% rise For multi-si wafers, supply shortage remains for high-efficiency products Also, Chinese manufacturers have revised the price upward, which causes spot price to continuously rise Last week’s average price comes to US$0914/piece, a 011% rise For mono-si wafers, demand still reflects a downtrend with last week’s average price declining to US$116/piece, a 119% drop For cells, full-production status remains for major manufacturers Yet, certain manufacturers have chosen to lower the price Last week’s average price comes to US$0389/watt, a 026% drop For modules, buyers have become more cautious Moreover, module price in Japan continues to decline with last week’s average price reaching US$0669/watt, a 045% drop Affected by the decreased module price and weak thin-film demand, last week’s thin-film average price declined to US$0617/watt, a 064% drop

Press Releases
TrendForce: PCIe SSD and TLC SSD to Gain Spotlight in 2014 PC SSD Market

2013/12/16

Semiconductors

Two major trends will emerge in the 2014 SSD market, according to DRAMeXchange, a research division of TrendForce First, PCIe G2 (iePCIe Generation 20) will replace SATA III as the mainstream item in the high-end SSD market Second, SATA III TLC SSD will make an impact on the low to mid-end market sectors The SATA III interface boasts a maximum transfer speed of 600 MB/s, while the highest speed for PCIe (when using 2 lanes) is 1000 MB/s In the event that 4 lanes are used, the speed could reach up to as high as 2000 MB/s According to TrendForce’s senior manager, Alan Chen, the reasons PCIe G2 will replace SATA III as the mainstream in the high-end SSD market (ie for business or gaming related PC/NBs) are as follows: First, as the new Macbook Airs released in mid-2013 are already equipped with PCIe G2x2 SSDs, it is highly likely that the 2014 models will upgrade to PCIe G2x4 SSDs With Apple rapidly incorporating PCIe G2 SSDs into its own PC/NB product lines, other PC brands are likely to follow suit Second, in 2014, both Microsoft's Windows 81 and Intel's Broadwell CPU are expected to provide in-box drivers that are compatible with PCIe G2 SSDs In addition to bolstering the existing faith in the technology, the Wintel group's aforementioned decision will help lower the threshold for many of the SSD controller chip manufacturers that are hoping to use the PCIe G2 format The diagram below outlines the various development phases that TrendForce has predicted for the mainstream PC SSD interfaces as well as their corresponding NAND Flash specs With the price gap between PCIe G2 and SATA III SSDs shrinking, the former has a legitimate chance of becoming the mainstream PC SSD format in 2015 Notably, PC OEM vendors --not including Apple-- are still deciding on whether to adopt PCIe G2x2 or PCIe G2x4 for 2014 As the major PC OEM SSD vendors are expected to promote products next year that are based on the latter interface, TrendForce projects that the PCIe G2x4 format will ultimately win out From what the current information from the industry suggests, the Wintel group may only choose to focus on creating drivers that support PCIe G2x2 As these manufacturers generally possess the ability to provide their own driver solutions, their statuses are unlikely to be heavily restricted within the market With regard to the SATA III TLC SSDs, given how the C/P value of Samsung’s recent TLC SSD is being widely praised within the market, a number of SSD vendors have begun developing similar products that are geared towards 2014 With concerns looming over the general life span and data retention of TLC SSDs, the PC OEM clients are likely to only apply the component in their lower-end products during the initial phases Looking at the market, given that TLC SSDs are able to compete effectively against Hybrid HDDs (ieSSHDs) and SSD Cache solutions (ieDual Drive) in the areas of price and efficiency, TrendForce predicts that the competition among the three formats will become a lot more intense in the coming periods The major suppliers of PC OEM SSDs —for instance, Samsung, Sandisk, Intel, Toshiba, Liteon, Micron, and SK Hynix— account for nearly 90% of the market, and are known to employ different types of controller chip production strategies With regard to the SATA III SDD products, Samsung is generally known for producing its chip components in-house, whereas companies such as Intel, Toshiba, Sandisk, and SK Hynix use both the in-house and outsourcing approach Micron and Liteon, unlike the rest, typically outsource their entire SSD controller chip production to third party manufacturers The more well known SSD controller IC suppliers currently include LSI, Marvell, Jmicron, Phison, and SMI LSI and Marvell, in particular, account for over 85% of the market In the future, TrendForce projects that the rise of the TLC SSD and PCIe G2 SSD markets will encourage PC OEM SSD vendors to raise the proportion of controller chips outsourced and help accelerate the products’ time to market

Press Releases
TrendForce: 2014 Large-sized TFT-LCD Competition Intensifies, Panel Makers Seek Ways to Generate Profits

2013/12/16

Display

According to WitsView, the display division of the global intelligence provider TrendForce, panel makers seek to optimize the utilization and lift value added on products in 2013 as they try to stop losses Despite China’s subsidy policy and the continuously growing panel sizes in the current year cease makers’ long-term losses, the three G85 fabs belonging to SDC, BOE, and LGD in China getting operational in 2014 will aggravate the TFT-LCD capacity expansion race among makers In view of the 2014 panel industry development, WitsView indicates Taiwan-based makers would devote to product diversification, especially a visual war of 4K2K and high color saturation In response to the weak IT panel demand, they switch the IT production lines to touch sensors and integrate the in-house panels to provide a cost-advantageous vertically-integrated touch sensor solution Korean makers depend on stable client structure and continue to upgrade the wide-viewing angle technology, stirring an IPS wave in the IT panel market and gaining traction among clients such as Apple, Samsung, and Amazon  Chinese makers focus on size diversification in hope to answer Chinese brand clients’demands for diverse sizes as the new capacity gets operational On the other hand, they work aside the official policies to lift the panel shelf-sufficient percentage Japanese makers not only put every effort on the 60”-and-above products but offer lighter, slimmer, and higher-resolution mobile device panels with IGZO and LTPS technologies in order to win a share in the mid-and small-sized segment WitsView believes that the 2014 large-sized TFT-LCD market development should be centered on large TVs, 50”-and-under UHD TVs, the reshuffle of the mid-and small-sized panel production lines, and the LTPS technology 1、Trend of growing sizes is established with an average size of 408” for 2014 For the last three years, the TV panel market has been influenced by Chinese government’s subsidy policy and launches of smart TVs and low-priced large TVs, and the average TV panel size has been rising significantly since 2011 The momentum driving up the 2014 average size is the expanding share of the 40”-and-above panels as Korean and Chinese makers reveals actively the 48”/49”, while the 50”, 55”, 60”, and 65” are getting popularized WitsView estimates a 5% growth in the 2014 TV panel demand by area and an average size growing to 408” 2、Chinese brands boost shipments, 50”-and-under UHD TVs account for near 60% of UHD TV panels in 2014 INX leads the way to introduce the 39” and 42” UHD TV panels, and with Chinese brands’ volumetric adoption, the 50”-and-under UHD TV panel shipment rises more than 5 times in Q3’2013 from Q1 The other makers also aggressively develop the 50”-and-under UHD products as they wish to enter the Chinese UHD TV market with affordable selling prices and Chinese brands’ strong promotions Based on panel makers’ BP, the 50”-and-under UHD TV panels will control 60% of the overall UHD TV panels in 2014 3、5% growth in mid-and small sized panel production in Gen5-and-above fabs in 2014 With the rising demand for mobile devices including large-sized smart phones and tablets and on concern of profitability and production efficiency, panel makers will use larger generations to produce mid-and small-sized panels for smart phones and tablets In view of global top five panel makers’ capacity, the smart phone and tablet panel proportion in Gen5-and-above fabs will rise 5% in 2014 from 2013, according to WitsView 4、Upgraded tablet resolution is a new opportunity for LTPS back plane LTPS technology, with its advantage of high electronics mobility, easily applies to high-end panels featuring high-resolution (330ppi and above) and ultra-narrow bezel and successfully attracts the adoption of clients including Amazon and Google on the new Kindle Fire HD/HDX and Nexus 7 models Since the tablet fever in 2010, the consumers are getting demanding on the resolution as the 7x” and 8x” achieve to upgrade the resolution in 2013 Despite the market is crowded by low-priced tablets, brands with economic-scale production such as Apple, Samsung, Google, and Amazon must launch higher-resolution products, 350ppi and beyond, on concern of lifting competitiveness and brand image This will be a new opportunity for the next LTPS technology, which sees a penetration rate of the tablet panel shipment rising continuously from 2% in 2013 Looking ahead to 2014, large-sized panel demand by units surges 15% to 815 million units Tablet panel shipment rises 16% YoY to 266 million units, LCD TV panel demand is 2287 million units, monitor panel shipment is 153 million units and 101”-and-above NB panel demand reaches 166 million units Large-sized panel demand by area attains 1426 million units, rising 24% YoY

Press Releases
TrendForce: 2014 Three Major Trends of PV Energy – High-Efficiency Cell, Energy-Storage System, and Acquisition

2013/12/13

Energy

TrendForce Shanghai Office---Demand from China, Japan, and USA will represent about 50% of the total worldwide market share in 2014 Due to the recovery of the European market and the rise of the emerging markets, supply and demand in the PV industry will be able to achieve equilibrium EnergyTrend research manager, Jason Huang, points out the three major trends within the PV industry, which are high-efficiency products, energy-storage systems, and merge and acquisitions High-efficiency products become the mainstream; target efficiency for multi-si cell is 18% by the end of 2014 Although many manufacturers have started to come up with new PV technology, crystalline silicon products remain the mainstream in the overall market Among all, multi-si products are the most popular ones because they have excellent quality, reasonable price, and simpler power plant design and inverter specifications Since 2013, module wattage has increased from 240 to 250 Multi-si cells with efficiency of 172%~176% are cells that are mostly used Follow the increased use of high-efficiency cells, downstream developers hope to acquire modules with higher wattage It’s projected that cell efficiency will rise to 176%~178% in the first half of 2014 While 60 pieces of cells’ module is equivalent to 250/255W, 72 pieces of cells’ module is equivalent to 300/305W By the end of 2014, mainstream will be products above 255/305W with efficiency of 178%~18% With energy-storage product demand turning stronger, selling it with PV system as a set will be critical to the next market development Most of the countries switch their PV development focus to self-consumption or peak-electricity usage adjustment because subsidies have been cut or even cancelled in different regions Meanwhile, residential systems have become more popular as the development of large-scale power plants starts to slow down in certain countries Hence, energy-storage systems will definitely be another trend follows PV systems In addition to lowering PV cost, energy-storage subsidy plans provided in Germany and Japan will bring new targets to the market EnergyTrend believes that it’s less possible to sell energy-storage systems alone Instead, it’s more likely to sell them with PV systems as a set from PV manufacturers As for Chinese manufacturers with the largest amount of module export, selling energy-storage systems with PV systems seems to be the best way for them to do business in Europe after signing the agreement of minimum price and volume limit with EU For now, energy-storage volume in combination with residential systems is about 3kWh~7kWh In fact, adding an energy-storage system may double the cost, however, with the support of subsidy and decreased battery price, cost for PV systems with energy storage may only be 13~17 times the original PV system price in 2014 The development for energy-storage systems may reach the next level as the market expands and electricity price continues to go up Merge and acquisition; where will new entrants appear? Merge and acquisition has been the focus in 2013 In China, LDK handed over their equity to Tongwei and Shunfeng acquired Suntech In the overseas markets, Solarworld took over Bosch Solar and Astronergy bought Conergy’s module factory Yet, the companies being acquired have cried out for help a long time ago None of the companies with high market shares decided to start a joint venture Due to the increased demand in the market, companies have begun to set the sales target for next year Furthermore, downstream development trend shows that  industrial concentration will become more obvious in 2014 Huang indicates that what’s worth observing in 2014 is to see if there are companies that choose to exit from the market before completely waning because this is where market share will be affected substantially With PV cost continuously declining, many large oil and grid companies begin to take PV energy into consideration once again In 2014, there will be more energy companies re-allocating PV energy into their energy development roadmap and what PV companies have to do is to clarify who is the player with the most chips in the future energy market

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