Sharp Corporation has completed the company's new plant in Kameyama City, Japan, and will begin start-to-finish production of large-screen LCD TVs, ranging from 26- to more than 40-in. The plant will utilize large-format 1,500 x 1,800-mm mother glass substrates from fabrication of LCD panels to final assembly.
The company says it will install a second production line in the plant in August 2004 for large format LCDs. The line will expand production capacity in order to keep up with the growing demand for television production. Demand for large-format displays currently outstrips availability, according to industry analysts, and demand is expected to grow at a rate of 7 percent annually, fueled by the popularity of flat-panel TVs and the use of large panels in non-TV applications.
"We welcome the opportunity to offer new sizes to our OEM partners in North America, as well as greater availability," said Joel Pollack, vice president, Display Business Unit at Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas. "Sharp is prepared to meet the expected demand for LCD panels."
Sharp's line of large format displays includes modules in 26- and 32-in sizes, as well as panels in excess of 40 in. In addition, Sharp will offer an enhanced version of its 37-in module currently in mass production. The company says the LCD modules complement Sharp's existing lineup of large panels in sizes ranging from 13- to 37-in, designed primarily for applications such as LCD TV, dynamic signage, kiosks, gaming, and security/surveillance.
Sharp currently is the market leader in finished LCD TV products, according to a recent report from analysts at Display Search. In LCD module shipments, Sharp is said to hold a 29-percent market share, with projected growth to 48 percent in the first quarter of 2004.
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