Striving to Achieve
Pursuing a strategy that targets high-growth, high-volume smart applications, we managed to achieve growth and return to profitability in the first half of 2013, in tandem with the growing smart applications market. In the second half year, the market in general became more volatile. Some market segments continued to prosper while others faced challenges from the rapidly changing industry landscape and fluctuations in customer demand.
We have achieved good progress in some of our key target business areas, in particular in terms of new product development.
For smartphones and tablets, we continued to direct our focus on high-resolution applications. We launched LCD display driver ICs targeting the HD resolution smartphone market in China. Not only did we score design wins with key smartphone brands, we also collaborated with top-tier customers to develop HD LCD display driver ICs that support metal oxide TFT technology, commencing a pilot shipment in the last quarter of 2013, as well as in-cell touch technology for HD smartphones, which is undergoing qualification. The HD smartphone is anticipated to capture a larger share of the China market in the future, and has strong growth potential.
We have added a number of new products to enrich our portfolio of touch panel controllers for high-resolution smartphones and tablets. Our MIPI display interface controllers, enhanced with image processing functions targeting high-resolution, high-speed and low-power display Full HD and WQXGA smart devices, garnered additional design wins with global brands and enjoyed strong growth in the first half of 2013. The robust shipment growth was slowed down in the third quarter due to inventory adjustments in the market but shipments picked up at the end of year due to new product applications. In addition, we have launched qHD display driver IC for China’s first AMOLED panel, and we are in the process of developing AMOLED driver ICs with even higher levels of resolution.
We have launched new AMEPD display driver ICs as this e-Paper display technology has seen strong growth momentum, underpinned by increasing demand for displaying complex content in high resolution while consuming ultra-low power, such as electronic shelf labels (ESL). The ESL industry is still fairly young and is believed to have enormous business opportunities with the rise of environmentalism.
We have developed new large TFT driver ICs for high-resolution displays covering 31.5” TVs as well as 18.5” and 21.5” monitors. Two new sets of driver ICs for 31.5” TVs have completed qualifications and started mass production in the second half of 2013. The driver ICs for 18.5” HD monitors and 21.5” Full HD monitors are undergoing qualifications for mass production in 2014.
These developments will further enhance our competitiveness and enable us to capture the growth of our target business areas, in particular, smartphones and tablets, which will continue to be key growth drivers of the semiconductor market. According to forecasts by financial institutions, the global economy is entering a new phase of modest recovery and growth, and driven by the improving economy, the semiconductor market in general will follow the same growth trend.
2014 also marks the 15th anniversary of Solomon Systech. In this special celebratory year, we will continue to focus on high-growth, high-volume smart devices, and strive to seize any market opportunities that arise to achieve further growth.
Dr Humphrey Leung, JP
Solomon Systech Limited