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EL SEGUNDO, CA – The global market for large-sized LCD panels appears to be shrugging off economic concerns, with rising demand for monitor, notebook-PC and television panels expected to generate a 17.7% increase in shipments this year compared to last, iSuppli Corp. predicts.
Large-sized LCD panel (10" or more diagonally) shipments are projected to rise to 458.9 million units, the firm says. The market is expected to reach 737.6 million units by 2012, a CAGR of 13.6% from 2007.
“The market for large-sized LCD panels struggled with an oversupply situation starting in November and into the first quarter,” said Sweta Dash, director, LCD, for iSuppli. “However, concern over expected tight supplies in the second and third quarters due to Olympic Games-related demand and slower capacity expansion plans is prompting buyers of large-sized LCD panels to pull in their orders earlier and to maintain high inventory levels – a marked contrast from late 2007.”
The global large-sized LCD market will expand to $88.9 billion in 2008, up 19.9% year-over-year. The fact that revenue will grow more quickly than unit shipments reflects stronger ASPs for large LCDs as a result of supply constraints, says iSuppli.
Large-sized TFT-LCD panel revenue is expected to reach $120.7 billion in 2012, maintaining a CAGR of 10.2% from 2007.
Many were concerned about the large-sized LCD panel market this year, mostly because of economic slowdowns. However, first-quarter large-sized LCD panel shipments declined only 2.8% sequentially. Generally, the first quarter is seasonally slow, but this year, even after dips in January and February, first-quarter shipments recovered somewhat as a result of strong growth in March, says the research firm.
Most panel buyers are expecting the LCD market to be in tight supply in the second and third quarters because of the Olympics and slower capacity expansions in the first half of the year.
So, although the end-system market remains slow due to the general deceleration in the US and the worldwide economy, the panel market is growing at a faster rate. Notably, first-quarter panel shipments fell 5.3% sequentially, according to iSuppli.
With the strong pickup in sales in the first quarter, shipments increased 40.1% year-over-year.
While the supply glut did continue in the first quarter, the strong demand for monitor, television and notebook PC panels has begun boosting the large-sized LCD market, a phenomenon expected to continue through the third quarter.
Panel suppliers are expected to spend about $17 billion in 2008 alone to increase their capacity at higher-generation fabs. Strong growth in all three major application markets – TVs, notebooks and monitors – will propel large-sized LCD revenue into the future. 
ROLLING MEADOWS, ILBEST Inc., in conjunction with the SMTA Illinois chapter, will host the 2008 PCB rework symposium at its Chicago-area facility on August 14.

Other technical presenters will include OK International and VJ Technologies.

The symposium will consist of leadless device rework: the methodologies for reworking QFNs, LCCs and other leadless devices; secrets of Pb-free rework: helpful, practical hints for reworking Pb-free PCBs, and noncontact solder removal for rework.

In addition, hands-on demonstrations will include BGA reballing techniques, BGA x-ray inspection, QFN rework, and Pb-free hand soldering tips.

To register, contact Gerri Noble at
YAVNE, ISRAEL – Ofer Shofman, president and chief executive of Valor Computerized Systems and a founder of the software company, is retiring, the  company said today.

CFO Dan Hoz has been named acting president and CEO.  Read more ...
ST. LOUIS -- EMS provider LaBarge Inc. scored a $4.5 million, multiyear agreement with Raytheon Missile Systems to provide complex cable assemblies

The assemblies will be used in the upgraded Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) guided missile.
Read more ...

NEWBRIDGE, UK -- EMS firm Axiom Manufacturing Services named Mike Jones quality manager and Simon Crewe supply chain manager.

Jones has a degree in electrical and electronic engineering and 25 years’ experience in electronics.

Crewe has 15 years' experience in supply-chain management and was previously with an automotive company.

MUMBAI, INDIA -- Electronics OEMs are reporting modest price increases of end-products, the result of higher materials and logistics costs.

In recent days, Mirc Electronics Ltd., a maker of consumer electronics, said it will raise prices 5 to 7% across the board.

Also, Videocon Industries also said it will hike prices on consumer goods by some five to 10%.

Mirc Electronics makes TVs, DVD players and white goods under the Onida brand. Videocon makes TVs and white goods. Both companies cited higher raw material prices, especially for copper and other metals.

Separately, notebook PC EMS firm Wistron in in talks with customers over increasing manufacturing quotes to reflect rising material and component costs, according to chairman Simon Lin. Wistron is one of the world's largest notebook PC makers.

SAN JOSE – North America-based manufacturers of semiconductor equipment posted $1.07 billion in orders in April, down 32% year-over-year, SEMI reported.

The three-month average book-to-bill ratio was 0.81, meaning that $81 worth of orders were received for every $100 of product billed for the month.

Read more ...
BRUSSELSGreenpeace’s campaign against brominated flame-retardants (BFRs) in electronics puts consumers at risk of being injured or killed by fire, says the bromine industry’s science and environment trade group.
The Bromine Science and Environmental Forum says the international environmental group ignores “the significant fire danger that electronic products can pose if they overheat” and is “aiming to force major game console manufacturers – and their customers – to stop using the best tested and scientifically documented flame retardants.”
“It is essential that consumer electronics are fire safe. Brominated flame retardants are a very effective, proven way to provide that protection – and they have also been categorically proved to be safe for human health and the natural environment,” said Michael Spiegelstein, BSEF chairman. “Greenpeace is acting irresponsibly by simply campaigning to ban some of the best scientifically tested and approved flame retardants.”
Greenpeace recently issued a report, “Playing Dirty,” in which it claimed analysis of game consoles showed high levels of bromine, which does not break down easily and builds up in the environment. Long-term exposure can lead to impaired learning and memory functions, and can interfere with thyroid and oestrogen hormone systems. In the report, Greenpeace noted that were game consoles classified as toys, EU legislation concerning hazardous chemicals use in toys would mean they couldn’t be sold in the EU market.
BSEF, an international organization representing the bromine chemical industry, claims manufacturers that submit to Greenpeace’s demands would be forced to use less-tested chemicals – since products that are not fire-resistant are not an option – and in so doing would put customers at risk.
EL SEGUNDO, CA – Spurred by the popularity of Apple’s iPhone and user interface, global shipments of touch-screen display modules are expected to more than double from 2008 to 2012, according to iSuppli Corp.
The worldwide market for touch-screen modules will amount to 341 million units and $3.4 billion in 2008. iSuppli forecasts the market will grow to 833 million units by 2013, expanding at a CAGR of 19.5% from 2008. Global touch-screen module revenue is forecast to grow to $6.4 billion by 2013, rising at a CAGR of 13.7%.
“The total number of touch-screen technologies including those in production and emerging products has increased from 16 distinct approaches in mid 2007 to 20 different touch-screen technologies this month,” said Jennifer Colegrove, senior analyst for emerging displays at iSuppli. “New touch-screen technologies are being commercialized and 12 types of touch-screen technologies now have commenced mass production.”
But this market is still volatile because of numerous acquisitions occurring while touch-screen applications either flourish or begin to die out, Colegrove said.
Catalyzed by the iPhone, sales of touch-screens using projected capacitive technology are growing dramatically. Projected capacitive touch-screen technology is more durable and has better transmittance than the more commonly used resistive technology. More touch-screen manufacturers are developing and commercializing this type of screen, says iSuppli. The average pricing gap between the capacitive and resistive display types is dwindling, making the technology more attractive.
Projected capacitive technology grew at the fastest rate of all the touch technologies in 2007, with 10.5 million units shipped, for a value of $222 million.
iSuppli forecasts that projected capacitive touch screens will maintain high growth momentum and reach 123.5 million units and $1.3 billion in revenue by 2013.
Many providers of alternative touch-screen technologies have announced multi-touch capabilities, such as touch-screen designer and developer NextWindow’s optical imaging camera-based touch screens. Other examples include IR Touch Systems Technology’s infrared touch screen and Stantum (formerly JazzMutant), which has offered a multi-touch music controller since 2004.
Resistive is the most commonly used touch-screen technology in the marketplace, accounting for 91% of global units in 2007, according to the research firm. However, due to low ASPs for this technology, it accounted for only 52% of the total touch-screen market revenue.
Although it is not very durable and has poor transmissivity, resistive’s low price and high responsiveness to both finger and stylus touch has made it the No.-1 touch-screen technology in terms of unit shipments during the last few years.
However, the resistive market now is suffering a shortage of indium tin oxide (ITO) film used to make such screens due to production expansions among several major manufacturers and limited numbers of ITO film suppliers, says iSuppli.
With several large manufacturers expanding capacity, other types of transparent conductive materials such as conductive polymer, carbon nanotube and Antimony Tin Oxide (ATO) have an entry-to-market opportunity now. In fact, Fujitsu already has started using conductive polymer for some of its resistive-type touch screens.
Despite the total of eight distinct, commercialized touch-screen technologies – i.e. resistive, surface capacitive, projected capacitive, surface acoustic wave, infrared, bending wave, active digitizer and optical imaging – even more novel touch-screen approaches are being invented, including new touch technologies from N-trig, Sony, Sharp, TMD and Samsung. Several companies recently have announced plans to commence touch-screen manufacturing. Furthermore, several mergers and acquisitions have occurred, launching new participants into the market, says iSuppli. 
BETHLEHEM, PA – Former DEK executive Neil MacRaild has been named president of Ovation Products.
   Read more ...
ATLANTAUP Media Group next month will present a free webinar on optimizing system performance with FPGA/PCB co-design.
The webinar takes place June 3 at 2 pm Eastern.
Bob Potock, director of FPGA marketing for Mentor Graphics’ Systems Design Division, is the presenter.
The third in a series, this event will discuss elements of an effective FPGA on-board strategy, specific implementation options, and how to boost productivity and PCB quality. The webinar will address effective integration of multiple FPGAs on a PCB. It will focus on new FPGA/PCB concurrent design processes and tools said to significantly improve system performance, product costs and productivity.
UPMG is the parent company of Circuits Assembly and Printed Circuit Design & Fab.
To register, click here: FPGA Webinar.
LOS ANGELES – Nepcon East will take place in May 2009, one month later than this year's show, the event producers said today.
In announcing the new dates, Canon Communications said the shift came at the request of leading exhibitors that felt the show timing was too close to other industry events.
The show, one of the longest running electronics manufacturing events in the world, will take place at the Boston Convention Center.  
"I'm pleased that Canon was able to move Nepcon East to the late May time frame,” said Brian Duffey, president of Mydata Automation, one of the show’s largest exhibitors. “Nepcon East is a good show for us and the new timing will make participation possible for Mydata in 2009. It's great to see that Canon heard the industry concerns and moved proactively to make this happen." 
Nepcon East will co-locate with Design & Manufacturing New England and Assembly New England, giving it an estimated 375 exhibitors.

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