SAN JOSE, Calif. – Taiwan is doubling its capacity to crank out capacitive touch panels, according to a new report from Displaybank. The move should lower costs for the components as small and medium sized LCD makers shift away from older resistive- or non-touch-enabled displays.
Demand for capacitive touch displays for smartphones and tablets is exploding, driving heady revenue growth for existing makers of the displays in Taiwan and attracting new entrants, according to the report. Displaybank estimates revenue from touch panel sales will hit $104.2 billion this year, up 76 percent from 2009.
Existing touch panel makers in Taiwan--including TPK, Wintek, JTouch, Young Fast and Giant Plus—are building new production lines, the report said. Other panel makers such as AU Optronics, CMI, Hannstar and CPT are transitioning existing Gen5 or smaller lines to touch panel production. In addition, Young Fast and J Touch are switching resistive touch production to capacitive touch displays, it said.
The boom helped drive more than three-fold sales growth for TPK in 2010. Rival Wintek saw sales more than double last year, the report said.
Getting yields up and prices down will be the chief challenge for the Taiwan companies, said Stone Oh, a Displaybank analyst in Taiwan. Meanwhile, Korean display makers also need to respond to the boom in demand for capacitive displays, he added.