STMicroelectronics Announces First Column-Driver IC for Fast-Growing Large-Size LCD Market

Developed in ST's Singapore Design Center, new LCD column-driver IC minimizes time-to-market for TV manufacturers to meet strong demand in Asia-Pacific for large-size LCD TVs

GENEVA, March 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM) today announced successful development of its first column-driver ICs for the fast-growing large-size LCD TV market*. Developed in the company's Asia- Pacific Design Center (APDC) in Singapore, the STD8420C and STD8420A are the first chips in ST's new LCD driver family, now being sampled to key customers, including Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. (CPT), a leading display company based in Taiwan.

Widely used in computer monitors, LCDs (Liquid Crystal Displays) are increasingly being used for flat-screen TVs as large LCD-panel prices continue to fall, and earlier performance limitations. Demand for large-size LCD TVs is growing rapidly, especially in countries such as Korea, China, Taiwan and Japan, with the establishment of HDTV (high-definition TV) services. Many consumers are upgrading from CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) television sets. Analyst iSuppli predicts(1) that sales of large-size LCD panels will continue to rise in the first half of 2007, compared to the end of 2006, in contrast to normal seasonal patterns.

The device uses PPDS(R) (Point-to-Point Differential Signaling) display technology licensed from National Semiconductor to dramatically simplify the LCD intra-panel interconnect and to reduce the total number of column-driver signals required, aiding manufacturers by enabling a physically smaller bezel around the TV screen while providing cinema-quality display performance. The use of this technology in the new LCD driver complements ST's long experience and expertise in display systems and technologies, including computer monitors, TV applications, mobile displays, plasma screens, small-size LCD and OLED (Organic LED) displays.

"We have been working very closely with ST's Asia-Pacific Design Center in the design-in of this innovative new LCD-driver IC," said Mr. Wei Chun An, TV -- R&D Director of CPT. "ST is already an important player in the display market and we believe this new family of LCD drivers will make a significant contribution to our mission to deliver world-class displays and further accelerate the use of large-size LCDs in consumer products."

The STD8420x is being produced in a leading-edge process technology, developed by ST specifically for this application. Other products in the new family will also be designed in ST's APDC in Singapore. Key features of the STD8420C include: 414/420 outputs, PPDS interface compatible, support for independent digital gamma control of each RGB color, support for Dot and N- line inversion drive schemes, operation over a wide output voltage range, and 1024 gray levels per output built from internal 12-bit linear digital-to- analog converters. The STD8420A incorporates all the features of the STD8420C with the exception of output gray levels, which are limited to 256 steps.

ST is setting up a complete business unit in Singapore for LCD drivers to establish a fully integrated presence at the centre of major LCD-panel production. This unit provides a total value chain including design, product engineering, field application support and marketing services, assisting manufacturers in meeting their customers' expectations for performance, TV set appearance and economy. Additionally, the chip design resources of the Asia- Pacific Design Center in Singapore have increased four-fold in the last five years, enabling the design of this innovative and cost-effective LCD column driver close to major flat-panel TV manufacturers to minimize time-to-market.

"These first large-size LCD source-driver ICs are clearly an important milestone in the company's strategy to become a major player in the mainstream high-end LCD TV market," said Philippe Berger, General Manager of ST's Display Division. "The company plans to offer extremely competitive driver products based around the PPDS display architecture and implemented in our leading-edge process technology developed specially for the application, together with dedicated design and display driver support resources located close to the key fast-growing markets in Asia."

Engineering samples of the STD8420C and STD8420A are already shipping to key customers. Pricing for the new ICs is in the range of $3 to $4.

    This press release is also available at

..... with links to further information on the STD8420C and STD8420A

About Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. (CPT)

Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd. [abbreviated as CPT] is one of the world's leading manufacturers of display devices for PCs, notebooks, television sets and other electronics products. Our focus on the TFT-LCD segment since 1999 has successfully transformed us from a primarily CRT company into a primarily TFT-LCD company with a supporting of CRT business. CPT booked net sales of NT$126.7 billion in 2006. TFT-LCD's share of net sales has increased to more than 83% during the same period.

CPT ranked third in Taiwan and fifth globally in terms of large-area TFT production. We continue to invest in more advanced production facilities and technologies. CPT has incorporated current IT and TV customers as well as our home appliance manufacturing partners in Taiwan and Mainland China into the mass production plan for our fabs in order to drive growth in LCD TVs. For displaying your vision and leading you into a more beautiful field of light, electricity, video and communication, CPT will keep strengthening our global businesses and enhance worldwide bases to serve our customers around the world and solidify our position in both TFT-LCD IT and TV markets.

Further information on ST's Asia-Pacific Design Center (APDC)

The Asia-Pacific Design Center in Singapore was set up more than 20 years ago, in 1984 -- the first such facility to be established in Singapore -- to complement ST's strong manufacturing presence in the region. Its advanced development capabilities, with core competency in analog and mixed-signal IC design, spearheaded ST's penetration into the intensely competitive Asia- Pacific consumer and PC peripherals market. The APDC now participates in IC design for consumer, computer peripheral, smart card and imaging products, for ST's globally-based customers. Revenues generated from locally designed devices have tripled over the last 5 years and its success has spawned a second Asia-Pacific based design center, in Seoul, Korea. Both centers are satellite-linked to other ST design facilities around the world, giving them access to the latest and most advanced design rules available in the company.

About STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics is a global leader in developing and delivering semiconductor solutions across the spectrum of microelectronics applications. An unrivalled combination of silicon and system expertise, manufacturing strength, Intellectual Property (IP) portfolio and strategic partners positions the Company at the forefront of System-on-Chip (SoC) technology and its products play a key role in enabling today's convergence markets. The Company's shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange, on Euronext Paris and on the Milan Stock Exchange. In 2006, the Company's net revenues were $9.85 billion and net earnings were $782 million. Further information on ST can be found at

    PPDS is a registered trademarks of National Semiconductor Corporation.

    * iSuppli Predicts Strong Large-Sized LCD Panel Demand in 1H 2007
      (1 December 2006)

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