LED BLUs to only cost 1.5x more than CCFL in 200824 January 2008
With industry players generally in agreement that LED backlighting will grow its role at the expense of traditional cold cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) solutions, LED makers from Taiwan project that the cost of LED backlight units (BLUs) will shrink to 1.5 times that of CCFL-based units during late 2008.
Despite that the current penetration rate of LED-backlit notebooks barely exceeds 10% due to LED patent issues and insufficient LED chip supplies, many industry players and research firms project that the rate will rise in the 10-20% range in 2008. Leading LED makers in Taiwan, including Everlight Electronics and Lite-On Technology, have extended their deployments over LED backlighting, while leading chip maker Epistar is also expected to provide LED OEM production from the second half of 2008, the LED makers commented.
In 2007, the cost premium of a notebook LED BLU was about 2.7-3x, but the gap is expected to narrow down to 2.3x in the first quarter of 2008, the LED makers estimated. Based on the annual 20-30% average selling price (ASP) drop for LED chips, they project the gap will shrink further to 1.5x in late 2008.
The LED makers remarked in saying that when the price gap between LED and CCFL BLUs narrows to 2x, industry players will likely be encouraged to move to production in volume. Given the fact that an LED BLU accounts for a relatively small portion of a notebook's overall cost, they stressed that there is no reason to shift back to CCFL solutions, especially when the price gap will continue to shrink.