AUSTIN, TEXAS, January 26, 2010The LED backlight unit market has rapidly emerged in the TFT LCD industry, and momentum for this segment is expected to continue over the next five years. In the latest DisplaySearch Quarterly LED Backlight Report, the company reports that LED backlight units will surpass CCFL/EEFL backlights in large-area TFT LCD panels in 2011, and achieve 74% penetration in 2013. Large-area LED backlight demand for all applications will grow from 114 million units in 2009 to 770 million units in 2015.

Without a doubt, LED backlights will be the dominant light source in all applications in 2011representing a significant business and technology evolution for the entire backlight and panel supply chain, noted Kevin Kwak, DisplaySearch Director of LED Backlight Unit Research.

Figure 1 shows the LED backlight unit penetration including notebook PCs, LCD monitors and LCD TV applications.

Figure 1: LED Backlight Unit Penetration Rate in 10+ TFT LCDs

Source: Quarterly LED Backlight Report

DisplaySearch forecasts the shipment of LED backlight units for LCD TVs to grow from 36.5 million units (a 20% penetration rate) in 2010 to 184.9 million units (a 72% penetration rate) in 2015. In order for LCD TVs with LED backlight units to gain market share, they must provide attractive performance and cost competitiveness simultaneously, Kwak added. Three main components will play a role in reducing costs: LED chips, light guide plates and dual brightness enhancement films.

Cost and performance remain bottlenecks for panel manufacturers for LED backlight units for monitor panels. Despite this, the Energy Star 5.0 specification will drive growth for this segment. In particular, LCD manufacturers are mass-producing 18.5W-24W LCD monitor panels with LED backlight units. DisplaySearch predicts that <26 LCD TVs with LED backlights, mainly using monitor panels, will grow rapidly also, as the cost premium is acceptable.

The notebook PC segment has the highest LED backlight unit penetration rate, as the power-saving benefit justifies the cost premium compared to CCFL BLU. Meanwhile, the prices for side-view, high-intensity (1,900-2,200 mcd) white LEDs continues to fall. As a result, LED backlights will have an 84% share of notebook PC shipments in 2010 and will be close to 95% in 2011.

The DisplaySearch Quarterly LED Backlight Report covers backlight unit capacity, backlight unit value chain, backlight unit cost structure by size, backlight unit shipment forecast by technology, CCFL capacity, CCFL supply chain, CCFL shipment and demand forecast, and LED technology introduction with its application in backlight unit. The report also provides an analysis of large-area LED backlight unit cost structure and cost trends for notebooks, monitors and LCD TVs and an extensive overview of LED backlight TVs. For more information on the DisplaySearch Quarterly LED Backlight Report, contact Charles Camaroto at 1.888.436.7673 or 1.516.625.2452, email, or contact your regional DisplaySearch office in China, Japan, Korea or Taiwan.

The DisplaySearch 12th Annual USFPD Conference, called "Laying the Foundations for the Next Wave of Growth: Energy Efficient & Low Cost Alternatives Lead the Way" will be held March 2-3, 2010 at the Hilton San Diego Resort in San Diego, California. The event will focus on all major and emerging flat panel display applications, as well as key components and materials related to the supply chain. To view the agenda and register, visit Register by January 25, 2010 to receive the early bird discount and save $400! Media interested in attending the USFPD Conference should contact Stacey Voorhees-Harmon at or call +1.925.336.9592.