Sales of small and medium-sized drivers were $83.8 million, up 34.7% in the second quarter from the same period 2011 and up 15.8% from the previous quarter. The growth was mainly a result of strong sales in a number of fast-growing product segments including smartphones, automotive and tablets. Sales for smartphone driver ICs, particularly those to the China market, were also robust. Himax's small and medium-sized driver sales totaled $83.8 million for the second quarter, a record high in its history.
Revenues from large panel display drivers were $79.7 million, up 4.3% from a year ago and 11.7% from the first quarter of 2012. The sales increase was mainly due to the growing sales to the panel customers in China. Thanks to the new capacity ramp currently underway in China, the Company anticipates this positive trend to continue in the second half of 2012.
Revenues from Himax's non-driver businesses, which include CMOS image sensors, LCOS microdisplays, touch panel controllers, power management ICs, LED diver ICs, wafer level optics, timing controllers, ASIC services and IP licensing, were $26.0 million, an increase of 18.4% from the same period last year and 13.2% higher than the first quarter of 2012.
Gross margins were 23.1% for the three months ended June 30, 2012, up 450 basis points from 18.6% in the second quarter of 2011 and up 20 basis points from 22.9% in the first quarter of 2012. This is the third consecutive quarter of gross margin improvement and the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2008. The increase in gross margin is a direct result of a richer mix of higher margin products. Continued gross margin improvement will remain one of the Company's main focuses for the remainder of 2012.Second quarter 2012 GAAP operating expenses were $23.5 million, down 11.2% from $26.5 million a year ago and down 0.6% from $23.7 million in the previous quarter. GAAP operating income was $20.2 million in the second quarter of 2012 compared to $3.4 million in the second quarter of 2011 and $14.5 million in the first quarter of 2012.