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Surge in sales of LED-backlit notebook PCs

DisplaySearch report reveals sudden 63 per cent jump in sales of notebooks featuring LED backlights, with market penetration of the new technology set to double in the coming quarter.

Sales of notebook PCs featuring LED backlights reached a new high of 2.1 million panels in the third quarter of 2008, says a report from Austin, Texas, analysts DisplaySearch.

That figure represented a remarkable jump of 63 per cent from the 1.3 million units sold in the second quarter of the year, as market penetration moved from 3.4 per cent to 5.4 per cent.

The good news for LED makers is that this momentum is set to grow further. DisplaySearch expects the market share of LED-based notebook PCs to more than double in the current quarter:

"With adoption triggered by the low cost and new LED backlight structures, estimates from notebook panel makers suggest 12.2 per cent penetration in the fourth quarter of 2008," said industry analysts at the firm.

It doesn t stop there, either. By the middle of 2009, that market share figure is expected to surpass 25 per cent, meaning that some 10 million notebook PCs featuring LED illumination will be sold in each quarter.

With dozens of LED chips needed in each backlight, the number of compound semiconductor devices needed for notebook PCs alone will begin to approach one billion per quarter.

Leading the industry shift away from traditional fluorescent lamps and towards the energy-efficient solid-state technology is Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology (TMDisplay), which grabbed a 39 per cent share of the emerging market for LED-backlit panels in the third quarter.

DisplaySearch notes that leading brands like Acer, HP and Dell are all planning to launch a number of new LED notebook PCs in early 2009, propelling the technology from a high-end option into mainstream use.

"New 16:9 panels will largely adopt LED backlights in 2009," it predicted. "TMDisplay, which is mainly shipping 12.1-inch and 13.3-inch panels with LED backlights, is the leader, followed by AU Optronics and LG Display."

For more information on the emerging market for LED-backlit notebooks, visit the DisplaySearch web site.

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