LG.Philips LCD Co. Ltd. (Seoul) has announced that its new sixth-generation thin-film-transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) fab, designated P6, has begun mass producing panels for LCD TVs and desktop monitors.
Located in Gumi, South Korea, P6 is focusing on 32- , 37-, and 42-in. wide screens for TVs as well as large and wide PC monitors, such as 17-in. The fab, which the company claims is the first to handle 1500 x 1850 mm glass substrates, is in the initial stages of ramping up to a capacity of 90,000 sheets per month, representing 250,000 square meters of input glass, by the third quarter of 2005.
According to LG.Philips LCD, the P6 plant is equipped with the latest cutting-edge LCD manufacturing equipment. The fab claims to be the first sixth-generation factory to apply technologies including one-drop fill (ODF) technology without pre-cutting the substrate glass.
LG.Philips' fab is the latest capacity expansion by suppliers eager to stake their turf in the growing LCD market, particularly as flat-panel TVs replace CRTs.
Sharp Corp. launched a sixth-generation fab in Mie Prefecture, Japan early in 2004 and has since opened a second line at the plant.
LG.Philips' chief rival, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., teamed with Sony to launch a joint venture, S-LCD Corp., in July to build a seventh-generation fab capable of handling 1,870 x 2,200 mm glass substrates.
Three Japanese rivals, Hitachi Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. and Toshiba Corp., recently launched a joint venture for LCD TV panels. Several Taiwanese companies have also announced they are expanding production of larger LCD panels.
The additional capacity has helped produce a glut of LCD panels, according to industry analysts, triggering recent price cuts that are expected to stimulate holiday season sales.