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LED sales for large backlight units to hit $1bn by 2012

As the market for LEDs used in handset backlights hits saturation point, larger-scale applications will represent a billion dollar market by 2012, predicts IMS Research.

The total market for semiconductors in display backlights will reach $4.5 billion by 2012, with approximately $1.1 billion of this figure coming from LEDs in medium- and large-sized backlight units.

Combined with sales of smaller backlights, total LED backlight sales will comprise $3 billion in 2012, according to forecasts from the 16 August report by IMS Research entitled “The Market for Semiconductors in Backlighting Applications 2007 - Worldwide”.

“The total market for semiconductors in backlighting applications was just under $3 billion in 2006,” said Ryan Sanderson, a market research analyst at the Wellingborough, UK, headquartered company. “This includes the market for LEDs and their associated LED driver ICs and ambient light sensors.”

LED sales made up $2.25 billion of the 2006 backlight semiconductor market, Sanderson told compoundsemiconductor.net, although only about $45 million of that total arose from medium- and large-scale displays.

In its report, IMS says that the falling cost of LED backlight units is an important driver for the growth of their inclusion in larger displays, which will in turn help to continue the growth of the entire backlight semiconductor market.

“The market for LED backlighting in medium and large displays only accounted for around 1.5 percent of the [$3 billion] total in 2006,” Sanderson explained, “however due to strong growth from LED backlit notebooks and LCD TVs, it is forecast that medium and large displays will account for around 25 percent in 2012.”

IMS expects sales for LEDs in small backlight units to show growth until 2009, beyond which the cellular handset market will be saturated, and Sanderson s figures indicate that this segment will decrease from approximately $2.2 billion in 2006 to $1.9 billion in 2012.

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