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Sony, Samsung display JV to expand display capacity

Posted: 25 Apr 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Yoshiko Hara? S-LCD Corp.? Sony? Samsung?

S-LCD Corp., the display joint venture between Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics, is investing $240 million to expand capacity at its 7th generation fab by 50 percent to process 90,000 panels a month.

S-LCD is on an expansion binge. The joint venture currently produces 60,000 panels a month. The company announced in November it would invest $85 million to expand capacity by 25 percent to 75,000 substrates, starting July.

Earlier this month, Sony and Samsung agreed to invest $2 billion to build an 8th generation fab with a monthly capacity of 50,000 substrates used to make LCD TVs. The fab was originally scheduled to begin operation in the fall of 2007, but the two companies are now considering accelerating the ramp-up so TVs using LCD panels produced at the fab will be ready for the 2007 year-end sales season, according to Katsumi Ihara, president of Sony's TV business group.

S-LCD has proven to be Sony's ticket to a stronger presence in the booming LCD TV market. Market researcher DisplaySearch Inc. said Sony was the top flat TV supplier in Q4 of 2005. Sony procures some LCD panels from third parties, but relies on the joint venture for most of its LCD panels.

"Sony shipped 2.8 million units of LCD panels last fiscal year [ended in March]. We expect the volume will grow more than double in this fiscal year. We are doing the best to secure the panels and expect that we can supply enough volume for this fiscal year," said Ihara.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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