Fri, Aug 31, 2018 - Page 12 News List

CPT counting on automotive displays

TOUCH TAIWAN SHOWCASE:Company president Lin Sheng-chang said that there would be more and bigger displays with the advance of electric and autonomous cars

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

LCD panelmaker Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd (CPT, 中華映管) yesterday showcased a series of new automotive displays, including some with advanced miniLED backlights, in an effort to boost sales of displays that deliver higher margins and longer product lifecycles.

The Taoyuan-based company has identified automotive displays as its key growth driver amid a downturn in smartphone display shipments as growth of unit sales diminishes worldwide.

The automotive display market “is to grow fast, at a double-digit percent rate each year over next few years” by unit shipment, CPT president Lin Sheng-chang (林盛昌) told reporters on the sidelines of the Touch Taiwan Display International Exhibition at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center.

Vehicles come equipped with three to five displays, two on the headrests for back-seat passengers, one cluster display, one on the dashboard and a heads-up display, Lin said.

“There will be more and bigger displays in automobiles as electric and autonomous cars advance,” Lin said, adding that more displays will be needed to show key indicators, such as tire pressure, to add safety.

CPT makes 15.2 inch displays for electric cars, as well as standard 8 inch flat screens for other vehicles, Lin said.

The company, which supplies automotive displays to Mercedes-Benz and BMW, as well as several Japanese brands, sets a goal of shipping 14 million automotive displays this year and 15 million units next year, from 12 million units last year, he said.

That would help boost sales of displays, which made up 40 percent of CPT’s revenue this year, Lin said, adding that the figure could climb to 50 percent next year.

Smartphone displays will account for 60 percent of the company’s revenue this year, he said.

To increase sales of automotive displays, CPT has invested heavily in to develop new technologies, such as miniLED technology, which was on display at the exhibition, with units starting at 13 inches.

The company’s new 25 inch display, equipped with a miniLED backlight, has a good chance of being commercialized soon as a substitute for OLED models, as it is competitively priced and has a similar performance to the OLED models, Lin said.

“Our miniLED car display will only cost US$50 more than its LCD counterpart, which is more than affordable,” Lin said.

He declined to disclose when the miniLED display would reach the market.

The company expects smartphone display shipments to lose steam this quarter as mobile phone vendors prepare for launches of new models outfitted with notch screens, such as Apple Inc’s iPhone X series, or water-drop screens, Lin said.

CPT is to ship its first water-drop screens for a global smartphone brand next month, he said.

“During the product transition period, our smartphone display business will experience a brief time of pain in the third quarter before a pick-up in the fourth,” Lin said.

For the entirety of this year, CPT expects to ship between 140 million and 150 million smartphone displays, sliding slightly from last year, he said.

The company also plans to tap into the rapidly growing electronic tags market, where E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技) has a dominant market position, Lin said.

He declined to disclose details.

CPT plans to ship its first electronic tags, such as electronic shelf labels, by the end of the year, using LCD displays and e-paper displays, he said.

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