Touch solution provider TPK Holding Co (宸鴻) yesterday said that silver-nanowire (SNW) technology should contribute about 5 percent to overall revenue next year, aided in part by rising shipments of interactive whiteboards.
TPK started investing in the technology in 2004 in collaboration with US subsidiary Cambrios Technologies Corp and recently commercialized the technology.
The flexible nature of SNW films makes it ideal for emerging devices such as flexible, foldable and stretchable phones and tablets, TPK said.
Photo: Chen Mei-ying, Taipei Times
The interactive whiteboard is its first SNW commercial product, it said.
“We have started shipping several thousands of SNW interactive whiteboards. We hope the volume would increase to 10,000 a month before the end of the year,” TPK chief executive Leo Hsieh (謝立群) said at the firm’s exhibition booth at the Touch Taiwan display show in Taipei’s Nangang Exhibition Center.
The company is exhibiting a series of SNW products at the show, which ends today.
Photo: Chen Mei-ying, Taipei Times
SNW technology is an affordable replacement for indium tin oxide, which is commonly used in touch sensors, interactive signboards, public signage and touch TVs, it said.
To satisfy customer demand, TPK plans to double monthly capacity of 75-inch SNW touch modules to 20,000 units before the end of the year and to 40,000 units next year, Hsieh said.
Interactive whiteboards are mainly used to replace traditional blackboards at schools in China, the US and Europe, Hsieh said.
TPK has secured orders to supply SNW touch modules to Shiyuan Electronic Technology Co (視源), China’s biggest whiteboard vendor, he said.
Several enterprises have also installed the interactive whiteboards in their conference rooms, he said.
Additionally, the company is in talks with several smartphone vendors, mainly from China, to supply 7.2-inch SNW touch modules for foldable phones, Hsieh said.
TPK will be ready with flexible SNW touch modules next quarter for clients to ship new models, he said.
“Foldable phone shipments will be small next year, as the market is still in the budding stage,” Hsieh said.
It will take a longer time to apply flexible SNW touch technology to tablets and laptops, as manufacturers in the supply chain will have to overcome several challenges, TPK said.
The company is optimistic about its business outlook for the second half of the year, expecting revenue to grow annually this quarter, backed by an uptick in seasonal demand, Hsieh said.
Order visibility for the fourth quarter is vague, but customers have indicated that revenue is not likely to dip from a year earlier, he said.
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