Sony, Samsung Firm Up On LCD Production

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Japan’s technology giant Sony has reaffirmed its deal with South Korea’s largest conglomerate Samsung on production of LCD panels: together, the companies plan to put 1.8 trillion won ($1.8 billion) into a third LCD production facility in South Korea (PDF). The facility will be built by S-LCD, a joint venture between the two companies in which Samsung holds a one-share majority.

S-LCD already operates two factories in South Korea at the Tangjeong Complex; one of which is already an eighth-generation line. The new facility will be at the same site and should beginning producing eighth-generation amorphous TFT-LCD panels by the second quarter of 2009. The facility should produce 60,000 sheets a month with a 2.2 by 2.5-meter motherglass size. The panels will be split between Samsung and Sony, with Samsung receiving slightly over half the output, in line with its ownership of S-LCD.

In February, Sony announced it was buying a one-third stake in a Japanese tenth-generation LCD plant being built by Sharp, leading to speculation Sony was planning to back out of its joint venture with Samsung. However, panels from the Sharp plant will be more suited to high-end LCD displays, where panels produced by S-LCD will be aimed more at mass-market products.