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NEC, SVA integrate TFT-LCD production in China

Posted: 20 Nov 2003 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:nec? sva? tft lcd panel? lcd modules?

NEC Corp. and SVA (Group) Co. Ltd. have established a TFT-LCD joint venture company in Shanghai, China with an integrated production line for TFT-LCD panels, including the array, cell and final module processes. The line's inclusion of a panel array process will be a first for China, NEC said.

NEC and SVA had agreed to establish a TFT-LCD manufacturing joint venture in April 2002 and have been hammering out the details. The venture, called Shanghai SVA NEC Liquid Crystal Display Co. Ltd., will plan, develop, and make TFT-LCD panels and modules. The company is capitalized at $450 million, with SVA owning 75 percent and NEC 25 percent.

NEC had been battling for survival in the harshly competitive LCD market, where Korean and Taiwanese manufacturers have taken the lead in large-scale production. NEC is pinning its LCD hopes on the joint venture with SVA and its integrated production line.

The joint venture will build a fifth-generation production line capable of handling 1,100mm x 1,300mm glass substrates with a total investment of $766 million. Construction has begun, and the line is expected to begin operation next October with a startup capacity of 4,500 substrates per month. The venture partners said that fifth-generation facilities, already in use by Korean and Taiwanese manufacturers, are technically proven.

NEC SVA LCD will produce mainly 15-inch to 23-inch panels for notebook PCs, monitors and televisions, with a main sales target of China.

On April 1, NEC spun off its LCD business unit as an internal company called NEC LCD Technologies Ltd. The new company took over the second- and third-generation production lines from its parent and has focused on panels for high-value-added display applications to avoid direct competition in the commodity market.

Early in its negotiations with SVA, NEC considered making the China joint venture its volume production base. But "the joint venture will basically focus on the Chinese market and sell panels by itself. It will produce panels where a large demand exists," an NEC spokesman said.

With annual sales of $4.7 billion, SVA (Group) Co. is one of China's top five electronics companies. It employs 26,400.

- Yoshiko Hara

EE Times

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