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Information about LED Driver

Hits:  Date:2012-11-18

White LEDs are targeted at a broad range ofapplications, from backlighting for LCD panels for PCs; headlights and otherautomotive devices; and lighting products for outdoors, offices and homes. In the near future, the main driver of the white LED market is expected to shiftfrom mobile phone handsets to large LCD panels for notebook PCs featuring10-inch or larger displays. To remain competitive, LED manufacturers will focuson developing a low-priced product that achieves a luminous efficiency of100lm/W and a unit price of £¤1/lm, equivalent to current LEDs for mobilephones.


Mobile phone handsets are currently thelargest market for LEDs (and LED Driver ICs). It is anticipated that the mobilephone handset and notebook PC markets will swap positions in terms of marketsize around 2010. At that time, notebooks will become (temporarily) the largestmarket. Mobile phones will continue to grow, however, driven primarily by unitsales in Brazil, Russia, India and China.Price declines will affect revenue sales, with mobile phones shrinking in 2010to about 60% of the market¡¯s size in 2005.


Backlighting for flat panel displays inlaptop computers and LCD TVs will be the major application driver for LEDs andLED Driver ICs. In the case of LCD TVs, growth has been ¡°slowing.¡± In 2006, themarket grew 95%. In 2007 it ¡°only¡± grew 57%. As growth ¡°slows,¡± LCDbacklighting will become an increasingly important product differentiator. The annualized growth for LCD TVs is expected to be over 25% between now and 2011.At that time, LCD TV sales will near 200 million units and will account forabout two-thirds of TV unit shipments. The growing unit shipments combined withthe increasing average screen size will result in an even faster growth ratefor LED backlights in LCD TVs.


LED backlights in laptop computers willalso enjoy the dual growth drivers of increasing penetration (usage) rates anda rapidly growing application segment. Current predictions are that laptopcomputers will surge 25% in 2008. By 2009, laptop computers will out-selldesktop PCs for the first time. At the same time that the laptop marketcontinues to surge, laptops will be adopting LCD backlighting.


As a result of the high growth rates forboth LCD TVs and laptop computers and the increasing penetration rates for LCDbacklights in both applications, these applications will supplant mobile phonehandsets as the dominant driver for LED Driver IC sales in the near future.


In the longer-term, the LED Driver marketis expected to go ¡°full circle¡± from driving a small number of LEDs in handsetstoday, to larger numbers of LEDs as backlights in various LCD applications inthe next stage of its evolution, to even larger numbers of LEDs in the nextstage in platforms such as automobiles and larger video displays. As a resultof the growing number of LEDs in the dominant applications, the cost of LEDswill continue to drop dramatically until they finally become cost-effective forgeneral illumination. At that time, the number of LEDs in a typical applicationwill drop back to where it is today, but for use in very-high-volume generalillumination applications.


Currently, LED lamps ¡°are at least twoorders of magnitude more expensive than traditional light sources,¡± making themseveral years away from significant market penetration for generalillumination. Combined with this is a temporary slowdown in the growth of thehigh-efficiency lighting market (including CFLs and other technologies).Aggressive price erosion is occurring in the HB-LED market, which is expectedto continue.


Looking to the future, however, the LEDroadmap gets more complicated. Ultra-high-brightness LEDs (UHB-LEDs) haveappeared on the commercial horizon. They have an output greater than 250 lumensand are considered a ¡°practical solution¡± for many lighting, photographic,retail and medical applications.


UHB-LEDs have a very long operating lifeand the ability to direct light for increased system efficiency. A significantportion of the growth in the overall LED market is expected to be driven byUHB-LEDs. They could account for one-third, or more, of LED Driver IC saleswithin the next few years.


The worldwide LED Driver IC market willcontinue to grow rapidly for many years. But the market will also evolve at arapid rate. New application segments will emerge as HB- and UHB-LEDs continueto offer improvements in cost and performance. This report will quantifyspecific sub-segment market trends and identify specific value-addedopportunities for LED Driver ICs.

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