TOKYO Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. and Sony Corp. reported Tuesday (April 19) that their LCD joint venture, S-LCD Corp., has begun shipping thin-film-transistor liquid crystal display panels at a 7th Generation line in Tangjeong, Asan-City, Korea.
Samsung (Seoul, South Korea) and Sony (Tokyo, Japan) formed S-LCD Corp. a year ago in an effort to help Sony establish a foothold in the growing flat-panel LCD TV market. Both companies have been installing the 7th generation production equipment since last June when the building was completed.
Sony and Samsung will not alone for long in the 7th generation fab stakes. Korea's LG.Philips LCD plans a 7th generation fab, and Japan's Sharp Corp. has announced it would build an 8th generation fab. Several Taiwanese LCD suppliers are also looking at 7th generation fabs.
S-LCD's fab uses 1870 x 2200 mm glass substrates. Slated to begin operating the first half of this year, the fab's ramp-up hit snags last summer when problems with steppers supplied by Canon Inc. arose. But the impact was not big and the fab has begun operation ahead of schedule, according to a Sony spokesman.
Both Sony and Samsung have not disclosed when TV sets with panels produced at the fab hit the market. The line can produce 26 to 46-inch panels, with 36-inch and 40-inch panels expected to be the main products. Sony will receive priority during the initial production ramp-up, according to a spokeswoman at Samsung Japan.