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Supply of LED driver ICs 20-30% short of demand, says Macroblock

Along with increasing demand for fine-pitch LED displays and lighting products, global supply of LED driver ICs has been 20-30% short of demand, according to Taiwan-based LED driver IC design house Macroblock.

Besides the shortage, cost for materials and components has been rising, industry sources said. Due to hikes in the cost and short supply, Macroblock aised quotes for its LED driver ICs in the second quarter of 2021.

Recent prices 30-40% for metal materials, 10-20% for PCBs, 10-30% for LED driver ICs, and 15-20% for LED chips, the sources indicated.

According to market survey firm, the general cost structure for a large-size LED display with a pitch of 1.0mm is: 50% for LED chips and devices; 10% for driver ICs; 10% for PCBs; 25% for engineering and labor; and 5% for others. When the pitch increases, the cost percentage for chips and devices will decrease and that for driver ICs will increase, the firm said.

While prices for LED driver ICs continually rose in first-half 2021, China-based design houses including Shenzhen Fine Made Electronics, Shenzhen Sunmoon Microelectronics, Chipone Technology (Beijing) and Shenzhen Developer Microelectronics plan to further hike their quotes by about 20% in the third quarter of the year, the industry sources noted.

In view of persistent shortage of LED driver ICs, many design houses have demanded security deposits for orders placed, the sources said, adding some LED driver IC design houses are likely to ask for six-month advance payments. The shortage of LED driver ICs is expected to remain at least until 2022, the sources said.