TrendForce has released the latest panel quotations for early February. Due to the effective production control strategies implemented by panel manufacturers, there is an expectation of gradually stimulating panel demand. It is anticipated that TV panel prices will return to an upward trend in February. Details are as follows:
From the perspective of panel suppliers, with the reduction in working days and the Lunar New Year holiday in February, it is expected that the average utilization rate will fall below 60%. Coupled with the relatively low TV panel inventory in the supply chain, the production control strategies of panel manufacturers have been effective. There is an anticipation of gradually stimulating the recovery of TV panel demand.
Meanwhile, the upstream supply issues with polarizing film materials have exacerbated, and it is expected that TV panel prices will return to an upward trend in February. Currently, it is expected that 32-inch, 43-inch, and 50-inch panels will increase by 1 USD, 55-inch by 2 USD, and 65-inch and 75-inch by 3 USD in February.
Although monitor panel demand is in the off-season, due to panel production cuts, unstable conditions in the shipping industry, and supply issues with polarizing film materials, some customers are observed to be willing to increase orders to mitigate potential risks. Additionally, with the established upward trend in TV panel prices in February, panel manufacturers are more confident, and it is expected that open-cell panels will increase by 0.1 to 0.2 USD. Panel module prices, however, are expected to remain overall stable.
Notebook panel demand is still in the off-season in the first quarter, and with sluggish demand, brand customers continue to request panel manufacturers to maintain the trend of price reductions. Different panel manufacturers respond differently to this pressure. Newer entrants are actively seeking to expand market share, leading to a more aggressive pricing strategy, putting pressure on existing panel manufacturers. In this competitive situation, notebook panel prices are not easily expected to see a comprehensive stabilization. In February, only TN models are expected to maintain a stable trend, while FHD IPS models are expected to decrease by 0.1 USD, and 16:10 models are expected to decrease by 0.2 to 0.3 USD.
According to the latest panel price data released by TrendForce in late December, due to subdued demand at the year-end, prices for panels in the TV, monitor, and notebook (NB) segments have all experienced declines. Details are as follows:
As we approach the year-end, with less-than-ideal results from the Black Friday promotions, there’s only a modest demand rebound observed for channel-owned brands with better sales performance. Major first-tier brands continue to adjust their panel order demands.
However, panel manufacturers are actively controlling output and inventory levels through production cuts. They even announced a nearly two-week annual preventive maintenance during the Lunar New Year in the first quarter of the coming year to ease the pressure of falling prices, while creating an atmosphere conducive to a potential reversal in panel prices.
Due to the signs of an expanding production cut, the current observed decline in TV panel prices in December is comparable to November, with a $2 decline for 32″ and 43″, a $3 decline for 50″, a $2 decline for 55″, and a $3 decline for 65″ and 75″.
For monitor panels, demand has remained weak throughout the fourth quarter. Panel manufacturers had only made slight concessions in prices for high-end models in the past few months. However, entering December, the pressure of price declines has extended to mainstream panel specifications. To maintain shipping momentum, some panel manufacturers have noticeably softened their pricing stance. The observed decline in December is expected to be $0.2 for 23.8″ Open Cell panels and $0.1 for 21.5″, 23.8″, and 27″ panels.
In terms of notebook panels, demand has significantly weakened in the fourth quarter. Faced with the pressure to maintain shipping momentum, panel manufacturers are experiencing changes in the previously stable panel prices over the past few months. As a result, buyers are beginning to have more negotiating power.
Observing panel prices in December, apart from 11.6″ and 14″/15.6″ TN models maintaining stability due to lower prices and limited supply, prices for 14″/15.6″ IPS models are expected to see a slight decline of $0.1.
In mid-December, Intel is set to unveil its latest Core Ultra processor, Meteor Lake. Global PC brands like Lenovo, Microsoft, DELL, HP, Acer, Asus, MSI, and Samsung are rolling out new products to capture the market. The end-users is enthusiastic, and channel feedback suggests increasing orders, marking a turning point in the PC industry, according to CTEE.
As per the designs by PC brands, AI PCs are poised to offer AI and machine learning, capable of executing intelligent applications and tasks at the edge. This translates to a boost in user productivity and entertainment experiences, enhanced communication efficiency, and improved work quality. Furthermore, these PCs prioritize data and privacy protection.
Taiwanese partners have corresponding models entering the market, with analysts anticipating AI PCs to become the primary driver for replacement demand in the latter half of the next year. Shipment volumes are estimated to surpass 100 million units in the next two years, benefiting Taiwan’s supply chain, including PC brands Acer, Asus, MSI, and ODMs Quanta, Compal, and Inventec.
On the other hand, TSMC stands up as a major upstream player, with rising utilization rate of the 5nm and 6nm advanced processes contributed to the big orders from the Meteor Lake. TSMC is in charge of the NPU, specifically designed for AI tasks.
Intel highlights 3D Foveros as the key to advanced packaging in mixing and matching compute tiles. This aspect is managed by its advanced packaging fab in Malaysia, ensuring the most efficient energy distribution.
Please note that this article cites information fromCTEE
AMD announced the Ryzen 8040 series processor at the AMD Advance AI event. With TSMC’s advanced 4nm process, this new processor boasts up to a 1.6x improvement in AI processing performance compared to its predecessor.
From AMD’s press release, the Ryzen 8040 series introduces the Ryzen AI Network Processing Unit (NPU), featuring up to 8 Zen 4 CPU cores and an integrated GPU based on RDNA 3. Utilizing TSMC’s 4nm process, AMD claims that the Ryzen 8040 series NPU is approximately 1.4x faster than the NPU in the previous 7040 series and 1.8x faster than Intel’s high-end i9-13900H Processor.
AMD CEO, Lisa Su, stated that AMD is the first global entity to integrate an NPU into an x86 processor. The Ryzen 8040 series is already in supply and is set to be featured in new models from major players such as Dell, HP, Acer, Asus, and Lenovo starting early 2024.
In fact, the integration of NPUs into Windows PCs is not a new thing. Both AMD and Intel lag behind Qualcomm. Back in October 2022, Qualcomm had already revealed its collaboration with on the development of the Microsoft SQ3 processor, set to be used in the Surface Pro 9 5G tablet, reported by ANUE.
While AMD and Intel compete, Apple is also a formidable player in the AI field. Since the introduction of the A11 Bionic in 2017, Apple has been integrating the neural engine into its hardware to accelerate AI tasks, similar to the NPUs developed by AMD and Intel, aiding in facial recognition and photo processing.
The global laptop and PC market is gradually recovering, coupled with the rising trend of AIPC. Laptop brands, including Acer and ASUS, as well as major contract manufacturers like Foxconn and Quanta, have all released positive outlooks for 2024.
Semiconductor giants such as Intel, NVIDIA, AMD, Qualcomm, and others actively entered the AI PC chip market in the second half of 2023, positioning themselves strategically. Both laptop brands and terminal manufacturers have expressed expectations for this development.
Jason Chen, Chairman and CEO of Taiwan-based computer manufacturer Acer, stated on November 30th that they are currently tallying the sales performance of Acer during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and the current results are satisfactory. Looking ahead to the PC industry next year, from an overall economic perspective, there are still many uncertain factors, but it appears to be better than this year.
Chen further pointed out that the impact of the pandemic has passed, inventory digestion has also concluded, and entering the traditional seasonal performance, the specific application of generative AI will bring a new wave of demand stimulation.
Regarding AI PCs, Chen emphasized that the transition to AI PCs will be a gradual process rather than a sudden occurrence. He anticipates this transformation will take place in both commercial and consumer markets in the future.
According to UDN’s report, ASUS, another major Taiwanese laptop manufacturer, emphasized the significance of AI PCs during its November investor conference. Co-CEO, S.Y. Hsu, highlighted that AI PCs represent a crucial turning point for the industry, promising a significant improvement in user experience and ushering in a new era for the PC industry.
While he acknowledged that consumer acceptance of AI PCs would take time to increase, he predicted that the penetration rate of AI PCs would reach single digits in 2024 and double digits in 2025, depending on the user experience and technological maturity of AI PCs next year.
For Taiwanese electronics contract manufacturer Foxconn, the outlook for the PC industry in the coming year is described as “very good” by Chiang Chih-Hsiung, General Manager of the B Group and Digital Health at Foxconn.
This indicates Foxconn’s positive expectations for performance in the PC-related industry. Foxconn had previously emphasized that, in addition to AI servers, it would collaborate with customers to expand its presence in the AI PC sector in 2024.
In a public interview on November 30th, Chairman Barry Lam of Taiwanese electronics manufacturer Quanta discussed the overall outlook for the next year, emphasizing the role of generative AI in shaping future technological developments.
With the rapid growth in AI computing power demand, the market conditions for next year are quite optimistic. Lin is particularly bullish on the future prospects of three major products: AI PC, AI servers, and AI automotive electronics, with a special emphasis on the significant growth potential of AI PCs.
Quanta is optimistic about the growth momentum in this sector, especially with Microsoft set to launch the latest Windows featuring AI functions next summer. Quanta envisions continued collaboration with GPT in the future for PCs.
TrendForce reports the global shipment of notebooks is expected to reach 167 million units in 2023—a YoY decrease of 10.2%. However, with inventory pressures easing, the notebook market is anticipated to return to a balanced supply and demand cycle in 2024. Overall shipment volume is forecast to reach 172 million units, marking a YoY increase of 3.2%.
As for AI PC, TrendForce believes that due to the high costs of upgrading both software and hardware, early development will be focused on high-end business users and content creators. This targeted group has a strong demand for leveraging AI processing capabilities to improve productivity efficiency and can also benefit immediately from related applications, making them the first-generation primary users.
The emergence of AI PCs is not expected to necessarily stimulate additional PC purchase demand. Instead, most upgrades to AI PC devices will occur naturally as part of the business equipment replacement cycle projected for 2024.
Nevertheless, looking to the long term, the potential development of more diverse AI tools—along with a price reduction—may still lead to a higher adoption rate of consumer AI PCs.