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Samsung to set up 11th generation LCD plant news
11 July 2008

Mumbai: World's top LCD panel maker Samsung Electronics, which earlier cancelled its plans to build a 10th-generation liquid display plant, is said to be in advanced stages of setting up an 11th-generation LCD plant.

The new plant, whose capacity has not been disclosed, will come up at the Korean electronics giant's LCD complex in Tangjeong, in the South Chungcheong Province.

The move follows Japanese rival Sharp's announcement in February this year that it has teamed up with Sony to set up a joint venture that will manufacture and sell LCDs. A new Sharp plant now under construction in Sakai, western Japan is expected to be able to process 72,000 sheets of 10th-generation mother glass a month.

A sheet of mother glass is a large, fabricated glass substrate that is cut into individual units for LCD and gas plasma flat panels. 10th-generation mother glass is considered suitable for fabricating large screens of 40 inches.

Sources said that Samsung would make the glass substrate between 10 per cent and 20 per cent higher than that of Sharp's 10th-generation 2880mmX3130mm. The size of glass substrate from Samsung's 11th-generation line is smaller than the industry standard - 3200mmX3600mm.

The Korean firm is also keen to rope in Japanese electronics giant Sony to cooperate in the development of next-generation LCD panels, sources say.

Samsung is also in talks with Sony regarding additional investment in the second phase of the 8-2 line at their joint venture S-LCD Corporation in Tangjeong.

Construction on the new plant is scheduled to commence in 2009 with production due to start "possibly from the third quarter of 2010" and the construction of one eighth-generation line usually requires around 1.8 trillion won, reports said.

Samsung's initial investment is estimated between 3 trillion won and 4 trillion won. Samsung hopes to keep its current market share through mass production of its mainstream 40-inch LCD TV sets and holding the price line.

Samsung ranked first with a 22.2 per cent share of the global LCD market in the first quarter. Sony, Sharp and LG Electronics followed with 18.1 per cent, 10.1 per cent and 9.7 per cent, respectively, over the period,  according to market research firm DisplaySearch.,

Investing in the 11th-generation production line will help Samsung cope with demand for super-sized LCD panels larger than 52-inches, while at the same time reducing the cost of production.

Newer generations of LCD technologies help manufacturers produce larger panels at a cheaper price. The 11th-generation LCD line allows manufacture of eight 70-inch LCD panels using just one glass plate.

The possible Samsung blue-print comes after Lee Sang-wan, head of the company's LCD business division told reporters October last year that Samsung had been reviewing ways to invest in a 10th-generation production line.

A sheet of mother glass is a large, fabricated glass substrate that is cut into individual units for LCD and gas plasma flat panels. 10th-generation mother glass is considered suitable for fabricating large screens of 40 inches.


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Samsung to set up 11th generation LCD plant