Ilitek visit

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at
Sat Jul 17 00:23:30 EDT 2010

went to visit the makers of the drive IC used in Ben NanoNote yesterday,
Ilitek. My notes...

-- company

*) Ilitek was founded in 2004, headquarters are in Xinzhu/Taiwan, sales and
   FAE offices in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen.
*) They have about 230 people in Xinzhu, 13 in Shenzhen, 6 in Shanghai, etc.
*) mostly make drive ICs right now, have started development of capacitive
   touch controllers (already taped out, roadshow next week)
*) their foundry partners are TSMC (6k 8inch wafers/month), SilTerra (10k 8inch
   wafers/month) and PSC (10k 8inch wafers/month, plan to go to 10k 12inch
   wafers/month in 2010)
*) they started with 500nm process in 2004, latest chips in 2010 use 110nm process

-- mobile phones

*) company first started with drive ICs for mobile phones, which is their
   main market right now
*) 70% market share in mainland china, in q1/2010 sold about 100kk mobile
   phone drive ICs (240kk in all of 2009)
*) price of one mobile phone drive IC 40-50 US cents, extremely price
   sensitive even to .5 cent increments
*) drive ICs from 128x160 pixels (qqvga), to 176x220 (qcif+) and up
*) mobile phone drive ICs start with 9 (9225, 9331, 9340, ...)

-- DSC (digital still cameras)

*) DSC uses 'delta arrangement' (as opposed to 'stripe arrangement') to make
   photos look better
*) DSC division only about 10 people, selling about 2kk drive ICs/month now
(hey: that's our 200 units/month Ben NanoNote in there!!!)
*) DSC drive ICs start with 8 (8960, 8961, 8963)
*) first DSC IC was for Casio (ILI8480), ILI8960 was first standardized DSC drive IC
*) newer 8960C supports better viewing angle
*) 8961 is cost-down version (16800x732 micron for 8960, 14470x670 micron for 8961)
*) 8963 next year will support 320x480 pixels, probably for Japanese market first
*) main customers are CPT, HSD, CMI (Chimei and Innolux merged into CMI)
*) Innolux tries to control the market and sells very selectively, others
   sell to the open market

-- notebooks

*) sells about 1-2kk notebook drive ICs per month
*) numbers start with 6 (6121, 6122, 6125, 6150)

Bottom line for us: We learnt that the professional term for the
'checkerboard' pixel arrangement in the Ben NanoNote is 'delta
arrangement' as opposed to the 'stripe arrangement' found in most
other LCMs. Also we have a good contact now at Ilitek to help us
with datasheets, or to quickly find other LCM modules with Ilitek
drive ICs, if we want to achieve continuity for our free drivers.

Nothing special, but nice to have a contact there...

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