OLED & E-Paper among New Drivers of Growth to be Discussed at GFPC 2008
Demand for flat screen televisions will continue to fuel the industry over the next few years, as nations around the world switch from analog to digital—prompting people to replace their old sets. In the immediate future, in the run up to the Beijing Olympics, demand is expected to increase. At the same time, as television prices fall, new sets are coming within the reach of a greater number of consumers.
However, according to Dr. Hidehiko Katoh, FPD Advisor at SEMI Japan, the industry cannot afford to be complacent. Even with the short- to mid-term outlook quite positive, the industry needs to find new growth drivers in order to sustain growth. This fresh impetus will come from emerging markets, technological innovation and application development—the theme at Global FPD Partners Conference 2008in Miyazaki, Japan this April. Through various keynotes, panel discussions and breakout sessions, GFPC participants will discuss key regions targeted for growth as well as promising fields and applications, including one environmentally-friendly product, billed as the next “killer application” for flat panel display technology.
Television Shipments 2000–2008
Emerging markets will represent a significant source of demand, not only for flat-screen televisions and computer displays, but also for mobile devices such as cellular phones and PDAs as well as portable media players and videogame units. Nations likely to experience the most growth are Brazil, Russia, India and China. Economic growth coupled with population growth may make them, and other nations such as Vietnam and Indonesia, major consumers of flat panel display technology.
For companies in the flat panel display industry, strategic investment and forming of partnerships to take advantage of the increased demand from emerging markets will be crucial. During one of three special breakout sessions at GFPC, opinion leaders familiar with the economic situation in these regions will discuss the long-term demand for end-products using flat panel displays, including market inhibitors and accelerators.
New Technology and Applications
Other drivers of growth for the flat panel display industry will occur from new technology and applications. As technology advances, the range of applications for flat-panel display technology continues to expand. At the same time, efforts to counter global warming have led to C02 targets and greater incentive to produce energy-efficient and otherwise environmentally-friendly display products.
Among new products, recent highlights include the world’s first OLED television, which was unveiled by Sony in November 2007. Breakout session 2 at GFPC is dedicated to OLED, the current state of development and future prospects.
Another technology is electronic paper, which some are billing as the next killer application for FPD technology. E-Paper got a boost in 2007 with the launch of the Amazon Kindle e-book reader. The popularity of the product, which sold nearly 90,000 units on its first day, selling out in six hours, is an indicator of the potential that exists for new applications for flat-panel display technology. The Kindle’s e-paper is a key feature of its design.
At GFPC 2008, a panel discussion entitled “The End of Paper and the Future of e-Paper” will deal with some of the hurdles facing the commercialization of e-paper as well as various companies’ roadmaps for commercialization.
The Global FPD Partners Conference (GFPC) is the only annual conference dedicated exclusively to senior executives involved in strategic business decision-making—including chairmen, CEOs, presidents, vice presidents and senior directors—from companies participating in the global flat panel display industry. From April 9–12, GFPC 2008 will be held in at the Phoenix Seagaia Resort in Miyazaki, Japan. Visit www.semi.org/gfpcto learn more about this year’s program.