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LED notebooks show late-2008 boom

Shipments surged 62 per cent in the final quarter of last year, despite a wider slump in the LCD market.

Shipments of notebook PCs with LED backlights reached 3.7 million in the final quarter of 2008 "“ a 62 per cent rise on the preceding quarter.

According to analyst firm DisplaySearch, 13.4 per cent of notebooks shipped in the closing quarter of the year featured LED backlighting technology, compared with a market share of only 6.3 per cent in the third quarter.

The figures demonstrate that although sales of notebook PCs slowed dramatically at the end of last year, those models that were fitted with LEDs became increasingly popular.

Notebook PCs have typically used cold-cathode fluorescent lamps to backlight the LCD screen. But trends towards lighter, thinner and more energy-efficient models have opened up this application to white LEDs.

DisplaySearch believes that the sharp uptick in adoption will continue throughout this year, thanks to new LED notebooks released by some of the industry s leading brands, including Acer, Dell and HP.

Nearly one-quarter of all notebooks shipped in the first three months of 2009 are now expected to include LED backlights. And by the end of this year, more than half of all notebooks shipped will feature the energy-saving technology.

"New 16:9 panels will largely adopt LED backlights in 2009," adds the DisplaySearch report.

Competition among suppliers of display backlights continues to be fierce, and is currently led by the Korean firms LG Display, which holds a 38.3 per cent market share, and Samsung with 19.2 per cent.

Japanese supplier TMDisplay, and Taiwan s AU Optronics and Chi Mei Optoelectronics make up the remainder of the market.

Visit DisplaySearch for more details on large-area TFT-LCD shipments.

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