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LCD chip market to double in 2008, IDC says

Analyst report predicts market for liquid crystal display chips will hit $7 billion in 2008.

The market for liquid crystal display chips will climb to $7 billion in 2008, up from $3.7 billion in 2004, according to market research company IDC.

This represents a 17 percent compounded annual growth rate. Due to falling prices, that revenue growth is much lower than the 29 percent growth rate the report predicts for unit sales, the market researcher said.

The growth will be driven by strong demand for thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays. This market includes driver chips, controllers, LCD-TV controllers and digital visual interface chips, usually deployed in liquid crystal displays larger than 10 inches.

"The rapid growth in the LCD semiconductor market naturally reflects demand for the LCD panels in notebook PCs, desktop PC LCD monitors and LCD TV markets," said a statement from Stanley Jeong, research manager at IDC. "However, it also reflects increasing semiconductor content per LCD panel. We expect the record growth that was seen in 2003 to continue over the forecast period."

Global demand for liquid crystal displays is growing as device makers begin using sleeker screens in place of bulky cathode ray tubes, for television screens and computer monitors. Recently, there were reports of Japanese electronics firms Hitachi, Matsushita and Toshiba pondering a partnership to produce liquid crystal displays. Apparently, the move would ward off competition from LCD maker Sharp and other Asian companies.

IDC's prediction is much lower than estimates by iSuppli early this year. According to that study, the market for display chips will jump from $4.7 billion this year to $9.7 billion in 2007.