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WitsView: With innovation in LED backlight design, cost reduction will be the primary objective in 2010

20 January 2010 Display

LED backlight was the limelight of the display industry in 2009, in addition to yielding positive results from its applications in NBs, LED backlight in TVs and monitors successfully gained foothold in the market for its slimness and energy-efficiency. In 2010, LED backlight products will continue to capture consumers’ attention, but the actual purchase depends on when its price position will be more in line with the mainstream prices. With price reduction as the objective, the design of LED backlight module will improve, thereby optimizing its cost structure. 

Compared to the price of a CCFL backlight module, which has for already hit the price floor, the price of an LED monitor backlight module is the biggest obstacle in its promotion. With cost reduction as an objective, manufacturers will start by changing the configuration of the light bar and LED lights in the new design. First, the mainstream 3020 low-power LEDs will be replaced with 5630 mid-power LEDs; under the same luminous flux, higher luminous efficacy significantly reduces the number of LEDs needed. In the new design, a single light bar is configured on the short side, compared to the existing design of a single or double light bar on the long side, cost is reduced from shortened length of the light bar; furthermore, the shorter distance also effectively prevents the issue of hot spot when reducing the number of LEDs. Taking 21.5W for example, the adoption of the new design may narrow the price gap between the LED backlight module and the CCFL one from $10 to $6.

In order to maintain uniformity of brightness, a large number of LEDs are used in the backlight module for TVs, but this high usage has been the main reason for its high cost. Benefitting from the continued improvement in light guide plate technology and the luminous efficacy LEDs, the 2010 LED TV backlight module will adopt a 4-light bar dual-side design, rather than the original 6-light bar, 4-side design, saving 1/3 of the cost in light source. WitsView analyst Eric Chiou indicated that light source accounts for over 50% of the cost of the LED TV backlight module, hence, this breakthrough design is estimated to bring about 20% cost reduction in backlight modules. In addition to leading Korean makers, Taiwanese panel makers will also adopt the same design concept in their TV panel production, starting from 1Q10. 

Based on the abovementioned trends in backlight module design, brand customers will be able to purchase more competitively priced LED panels in the future, and this will further spur the promotion of LED TVs, and LED monitors. 

[Table] Light bar design of LED backlight modules


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