This report provides a detailed analysis of the application drivers, technology developments and product introduction trends that are propelling the LED Driver IC market into the future. It also reviews relevant government regulations and surveys potential competitive threats to LEDs in important application sub-segments.
Driven in the short-run primarily by mobile phone handsets, the worldwide white light-emitting diode (LED) market is projected to exceed 20 billion units in 2008. Using higher light-emitting efficiency and lower pricing, an increasing number of white LEDs are being used as backlight for notebook PCs, medium and large LCD TVs, and single-color and full-color outdoor signs. Further growth is expected to come from automotive applications, which are expected to see increased penetration in LED headlamps, as well as LEDs in interior lighting. Toward the end of the forecast period, around 2013 or 2014, general illumination applications are expected to experience rapidly accelerating growth. This report focuses on five primary application segments:
* Handheld Applications – mobile phone handsets, digital still cameras, small flashlights, personal media players, GPS navigation systems, organizers, and so on.
* Medium-size Applications – ultra-mobile PCs, small digital photo frames, (typically LCDs below 10-inches), instrumentation, large flashlights, medical lighting, specialty lighting, industrial lighting, and so on.
* Large-size Applications – billboards, marquees, LCD televisions, LCD monitors, laptop computers, large LCD photo frames, traffic signals, and so on.
* Automotive Applications – indicator and illumination lighting applications, turn signals, brake lights, map reading lights, head lights, and so on.
* General Illumination – general indoor and outdoor lighting, architectural lighting, street lights, and so on.
While handheld (primarily mobile phone handsets) applications are still the most-often targeted application segment, the dominance of the segment has declined significantly in the past three years. At the beginning of 2005, about 35% of all LED driver IC introductions were targeted at the handheld segment. By the end of 2007, the percentage had dropped to about 25%. While the actual number of driver ICs targeted at handheld applications has not dropped significantly, the overall market for LED driver ICs has grown.
That market growth is visible in the Medium- and Large-sized application segments which have maintained their relative market shares over the past 3 years. Overall, these segments have been growing at about the same rate as the market. Medium- and Large-sized applications for LEDs are becoming the new growth driver for the industry. While handheld applications such as mobile phone handsets will continue to be important, they will be eclipsed in importance by new application segments.
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