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TCL CSOT banks big on next-generation displays

TCL China Star Optoelectronics Technology Co Ltd will invest more than 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) in developing next-generation display technologies and materials, expanding new application scenarios and building a semiconductor display ecosystem over the next five years.

"We are making inroads into new business sectors, such as augmented reality and virtual reality, mini light-emitting diodes and organic light-emitting diode televisions, in a bid to seek new growth points," said Li Dongsheng, founder and chairman of Chinese consumer electronics giant TCL.

Li made the remarks at the 2021 TCL CSOT global display tech-ecosystem conference held on Tuesday in Shenzhen, Guangdong province.

"We have further increased investment in medium-sized displays in accordance with strong demand for laptops, tablets and premium vehicle-mounted display products, and started construction of our T9 production line," Li said.

He said the global display market is ushering in a new round of development opportunities, and TCL CSOT will deeply integrate into the global semiconductor display industrial chain, work with global partners to explore cutting-edge technologies and improve the core competitiveness of China's display industry.

Li added that the revenue of TCL CSOT more than doubled on a yearly basis in the first three quarters, and the company ranked first in the global high-end TV display screen market with 8K resolution and 120Hz refresh rates.

With its experience in smart transportation, smart retail, smart security and smart homes, TCL CSOT will team up with partners along the upstream and downstream industrial chain to build display solutions for new scenarios in the future, said Kim Woo-shik, senior vice-president of TCL Tech and CEO of TCL CSOT, adding the application scenarios of the display industry will become richer along with the acceleration of digitalization.

Industry insiders said compared with traditional liquid crystal display, new display technologies like mini LED and OLED have made great advances in terms of image contrast, brightness and color spectrum, thus further accelerating the transformation and upgrade of the display industry.

Rong Chaoping, senior research manager at AVC Revo, a unit of market consultancy firm AVC, said panel manufacturers are pouring more capital into the research and development of new display technologies.

"After years of development, LCD technology has become very mature, but it faces some bottlenecks and cannot meet the diversified needs of consumers for display products," Rong said.

The new display technologies will usher in speedy growth, along with the maturity of such technologies and continuous cost reductions, Rong said.

Sun Jian, a tech analyst at Beijing-based market researcher Sigmaintell Consulting, estimated global shipments of mini LED TVs are expected to reach 1.8 million units this year, and the figure will be close to 9 million units by 2025 due to improvement of yield rates and decline in production costs.

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