Fri, Dec 25, 2009 - Page 12 News List

AU Optronics negotiating a fresh strategic alliance

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

AU Optronics Corp (友達光電) yesterday said it is in talks with a local LED drive IC designer over a strategic alliance to help it secure a stable supply of the component amid a growing trend for using LED backlighting as a light source in slim-screen TVs.

The liquid-crystal-display (LCD) panel maker said the alliance with Global Mixed-Mode Technology Inc (致新科技) would also help it improve cost efficiency in sourcing components, a company filing to the Taiwan Stock Exchange said yesterday.

That would help “the company seize future business opportunities, considering the rising ratio of LED-lit TVs among LCD TVs,” AU Optronics said.

The penetration of LED back-lit TVs is expected to rise to 11 percent next year and to 24 percent in 2011, from 3 percent this year, market researcher DisplaySearch’s forecast said. The researcher said LED back-lit TVs would be the new driving force for slim-screen TV demand.

AU Optronics’ comments came after Chinese-language newspaper the Economic Daily News reported yesterday that the firm was close to announcing a tie-up with Global Mixed-Mode, probably to set up a joint venture to make LED driver ICs, in the first half of next year.

“The cooperation will help AU Optronics obtain more orders in the future,” said Roger Yu (游智超), an LCD industry analyst with Polaris Securities Co (寶來證券).

“As most LCD panel makers have invested in making key components, the main issue now is how to broaden their TV customer base rather than aggressively increase their presence in the component supply chain,” Yu said.

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