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Taiwan LCD driver IC firms continue to see orders ramp up

Taiwan-based LCD driver IC suppliers continue to enjoy a ramp-up in orders including short lead-time ones, and will see their supply remains tight through the second quarter of 2021, according to industry sources.

The global supply of LCD driver ICs has fallen short of demand by over 20%, said the sources, adding that tight foundry supply already prompted suppliers including Taiwan-based ones to raise their quotes. Delivery lead times at 8-inch foundries have strengthened to over four months, while those at 12-inch ones have extended to three months.

Despite LCD driver IC suppliers having raised their prices, the companies continue to see order visibility extended to as long as more than six months from now, the sources noted. The fabless chipmakers expect tight foundry capacity to start easing as early as the second quarter.

Taiwan-based LCD driver IC suppliers including Novatek Microelectronics, Himax Technologies, FocalTech Systems, Fitipower Integrated Technology, Raydium Semiconductor and Sitronix Technology all saw their revenues hit respective high levels in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in previous years. The companies are also expected to generate handsome profits during the quarter, driven by rising product ASPs, the sources said.

Many of Taiwan's LCD driver IC firms have expressed optimism about their sales performance during the first quarter of 2021, with gross margin likely to top 30%, according to the sources.