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According to an in-house analysis by the news portal Digitimes, the global market of 3D TVs could increase to four million units in 2010. 3D capable monitors are expected to rise up to 1.5 million devices in the same period.
Despite many makers utilizing their own LCD panels in 3D TV production, Digitimes expects Taiwan panel suppliers to enter this market in the near future. Due to substantial cost savings in their production, they are anticipated to substitute panels of major brands such as Sony or Samsung in brief. Taiwan-based panel giants AU Optronics (AUO) and Chimei Innolux Corporation (CMI) would already be able to manufacture LED-backlighted LCD panels and image refresh rates of 240 Hz.
Conceivably, Sony’s 3D TVs could be manufactured with panels from Taiwan suppliers before long (Photo: Sony).
Taiwan already has grabbed the lead on the monitor market: Admittedly, South Korean companies LG Display and Samsung have started mass production of 3D panels for monitors, but CMI still is seen worldwide leader in making 3D capable monitor panels. Jointly with Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT), CMI is deemed to be the largest supplier of 3D capable notebook panels, too.
As makers widely use shutter glasses for their displays, shortage in supply of the required STN LCDs seems to be at hand. Given a number of three to four shutter glasses sold with each 3D TV, demand totals 12 to 15 million glasses and twice as many STN LCDs, respectively. It remains to be seen if makers are able to comply to such strong demand. At the current, most of the STN LCDs built into shutter glasses provide an image refresh rate of 120 Hz but few premium products feature 200 Hz capable STN LCDs which are said to be able to enhance three-dimensional imaging.
According to a Digitimes analysis, shortage in supply of STN LCDs for active shutter glasses is impending (Photo: Sony).