Sharp will be building its second plant at the Kameyama Plant site in Kameyama City, Mie Prefecture, Japan. Total investment, including building and production equipment, will reach 150 billion yen (approx. U.S. $1.5 billion). The start of production is targeted for October 2006. The plant is scheduled to produce large-format LCD panels, with which they will develop the market for LCD TVs 40 in and larger.
In Japan, Sharp says terrestrial digital TV broadcasts will reach 27 million households by the end of 2005, and the range is expected to increase to 37 million households by the end of 2006. It is predicted that the demand for digital broadcast-ready LCD TV sets will expand rapidly both in and outside Japan, which is why Sharp decided to start construction of the second plant in Kameyama.
The new plant will be one of the first to adopt eighth generation glass substrates, which is optimum for the production of 40-in-class and 50-in-class models. Eight 40-in-class panels or six 50-in-class panels can be obtained from a single eighth generation substrate, which is said to be the world's largest, with sides measuring more than 2 m. Compared with the substrates used at the company's existing plant, the size will roughly be twice as big. Together, Sharp says, the two plants will be able to produce an expanded lineup of panels, thereby building a stable supply system to respond to the needs of the market.
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