“Demand for high-quality LCD panels remains high,” said Sharp. “In the emerging markets, such as China, in particular, but also in Europe, one of the largest overseas markets for Sharp, the call for LCD TVs is rising despite the credit crunch. In addition, the market for e-signage displays is booming.”
Each generation of LCD plant handles larger sheets of ‘mother glass’ from which displays are cut.
This G10 plant, being built at Sakai near Osaka, will handle glass up to 2.88×3.13m (8.7m2) – 60% larger than the glass at Sharp’s current G8 Kameyama II facility.
It will allow six 60in. or eight 50in. displays to be made simultaneously.
In Europe, alone, Sharp estimates a need for 37 million TVs this year, which is 7 per cent more than last year.
“As further consequence of the G10 factory in Sakai, the production of small- and medium-sized LCD panels can be transferred to the modern Kameyama plants,” said Sharp. “This shift in production means that displays for mobile, automotive and industrial applications can be manufactured even more efficiently with a further enhancement in quality.”
In addition to the LCD factory, the 1.27km2 Sakai site will also house suppliers for the whole production process and infrastructure.
“This unique concentration of specialists, know-how and leading-edge production facilities in one place will enable us to take vertically integrated production to a new level,” claimed president of Sharp Microelectronics Europe Maximilian Huber. “Apart from significant time and cost benefits, this will allow us to combine innovative LCD technologies with the ability to process particularly large substrates for LCDs.”
See also: Sharp builds for 10th-generation glass substrates