Hitachi Ltd., Toshiba Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., and Hitachi subsidiary Hitachi Displays Ltd. have concluded a joint venture agreement establishing a company to manufacture and sell liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for flat-panel TVs.
The joint venture, be called IPS Alpha Technology Ltd., formalizes a basic agreement the Japanese companies signed Aug. 31. The venture begins operating Jan. 1, 2005 and will be headed by Hitachi Displays president Fumiaki Yonai.
The companies will initially pour 60 to 70 billion yen into IPS Alpha, with Hitachi Displays kicking in 50 percent, Toshiba 21 to 25 percent, Matsushita 21 to 25 percent. Other supply chain partners may also contribute to the venture.
The joint venture will build a new thin-film-transistor (TFT) LCD plant at Hitachi Display Ltd.'s facility in Mobara, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. Production capacity is expected to ramp up to 2.5 million 32-inch units annually by early 2009.
IPS Alpha will manufacture LCD panels using Hitachi Displays' IPS mode system technology. Close collaboration with IPS Alpha is expected to achieve synergies in the production of finished products at Hitachi, Toshiba and Matsushita, allowing them to build LCD TVs competitive in performance and price.