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Metal Oxide Thin-Film Transistor Markets

Display backplanes fabricated with silicon TFTs are the industry standard for displays of all kinds. However, in the past decade various attempts have been made to move beyond silicon either on cost or performance grounds. A decade ago, the big promise seemed to come from organic transistors, but their promise has faded as their electron mobilities have proven to be woefully inadequate.

This report analyzes the market for the next wave of non-silicon TFTs to be pitched towards backplane and other applications. This wave uses metallic oxides and TFTs made from these materials promise electron mobilities of more or less the same level as amorphous silicon, but with lower costs. Interest in these materials is at a high point with some of the biggest names in displays - Sony, Sharp, Samsung, LG and Toshiba - making serious efforts to commercialize TFTs.

This report also examines the potential of these developments for new business revenues for materials firms that produce complex metallic oxide semiconductors. Until very recently, the addressable markets for such materials have been entirely in the R&D space. This report examines the key markets for oxide TFTs in the LCD, OLED and e-paper space. In addition, it also takes look at their role in other more speculative markets such as flexible displays, transparent electronics, sensors, RFID and even power electronics.

This report also presents an analysis and roadmap for the development of oxide OTFT technology both in terms of materials and manufacturing technology. In terms of the former, it takes a look at the difference that the arrival of p-type oxide semiconductors may have on the commercialization of oxide TFT technology. In addition, this report analyzes the market strategies for companies developing this technology and also includes an eight-year forecast made by application and material type.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

  • E.1. Summary of Opportunities for Products Utilizing Metal Oxide TFTs
    • E.1.1. Display Opportunities
    • E.1.2. Other Opportunities
    • E.1.3. Opportunities for Materials Firms
  • E.2. Firms to Watch in this Space
  • E.3. Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts for Metal Oxide TFT Products
  • E.4. Concluding Remarks

Chapter One: Introduction

  • 1.1. Background to this Report
    • 1.1.1. The Silicon Landscape
    • 1.1.2. Metal Oxide TFTs and How They Fit In
  • 1.2. Objectives and Scope of this Report
  • 1.3. Methodology of this Report
  • 1.4. Plan of this Report

Chapter Two: Oxide TFT Technology: Assessment and Roadmap

  • 2.1. Zinc Oxide-Based Materials
    • 2.1.1. Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO)
    • 2.1.2. Indium Zinc Oxide (IZO)
    • 2.1.3. Zinc Tin Oxide (ZTO)
    • 2.1.4. Hafnium Indium Zinc Oxide (HIZO)
    • 2.1.5. Aluminum Doped Zinc Oxide (AZO)
  • 2.2. Potential for p-Type Oxide Semiconductors
  • 2.3. Assessment of Oxide Development Programs at Leading Firms
    • 2.3.1. AUO
    • 2.3.2. CBRITE
    • 2.3.3. HP
    • 2.3.4. LG Display
    • 2.3.5. Samsung Electronics
    • 2.3.6. Sharp
    • 2.3.7. Sony
    • 2.3.8. Toppan Printing Co.
    • 2.3.9. Toshiba
  • 2.4. Assessment of Materials Suppliers for Metal Oxide Backplanes
    • 2.4.1. Advanced Nano Products (ANP)
    • 2.4.2. JX Nippon Mining & Metals
    • 2.4.3. Ulvac Materials
  • 2.5. Evolution of Fabrication Technology for TFTs
  • 2.6. Key Points Made in this Chapter

Chapter Three: Market Requirements and Opportunities for Oxide TFTs

  • 3.1. What is the Future Role of Oxide TFTs in the LCD Market?
    • 3.1.1. The Competitive Environment and Importance of Device Types for TFTs in LCDs
    • 3.1.2. The Current State of the LCD Market
  • 3.2. Oxide TFTs and OLEDs
    • 3.2.1. Mobile Displays
    • 3.2.2. OLED TVs (Large-Area Applications)
  • 3.3. E-Paper
  • 3.4. Potential Future Markets for Oxide TFTs
    • 3.4.1. Flexible Displays
    • 3.4.2. Transparent Electronics
    • 3.4.3. Sensors and RFID
    • 3.4.4. Memory
  • 3.5. Key Points Made in this Chapter

Chapter Four: Eight-Year Forecasts for Oxide TFTs

  • 4.1. Forecasting Methodology
  • 4.2. Forecasts by Application
    • 4.2.1. LCD (and AMOLED) Tablet Displays
    • 4.2.2. Flat-Panel TV Displays
    • 4.2.3. Smartphone Displays
    • 4.2.4. Personal Computer Displays
  • 4.3. Forecast by Oxide Type
  • 4.4. Summary Forecast
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report
  • About the Author

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit E-1: Firms to Watch in the Metal Oxide TFT Space
  • Exhibit E-2: Summary of the Opportunity for Metal Oxide TFT Backplanes
  • Exhibit 4-1:Oxide Backplanes in the LCD Tablet Market Segment
  • Exhibit 4-2: Oxide Backplanes in the AMOLED Tablet Market Segment
  • Exhibit 4-3: Oxide Backplanes in the LCD TV Market Segment
  • Exhibit 4-4: Oxide Backplanes in the AMOLED TV Market Segment
  • Exhibit 4-5: Oxide Backplanes in the LCD Smartphone Market Segment
  • Exhibit 4-6: Oxide Backplanes in the AMOLED Smartphone Market Segment
  • Exhibit 4-7: Oxide Backplanes in the LCD Personal Computer Market Segment
  • Exhibit 4-8: Oxide Backplanes in the AMOLED Personal Computer Market Segment
  • Exhibit 4-9: Oxide Backplanes: Market Summary by Type
  • Exhibit 4-10: A Summary of the Opportunity for Metal Oxide TFT Backplanes
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