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Thursday, November 22, 2012
Sharp Says IGZO Panels Gain Customers' Interest

Sharp has disclosed that at least one Japanese company will use its IGZO panels in its products early next year, with foreign brands to follow.

"A domestic company will probably offer products using IGZO display panels from the first quarter of the calendar year," a Sharp executive yesterday told Bloomberg at a briefing in Osaka, given on condition of anonymity. "As for foreign brands, you will probably see such products in the second quarter."

Earlier this year, Japan's largest maker of liquid-crystal displays said it was struggling to find buyers for its IGZO panels, which are based on a new oxide semiconductor that consists of indium, gallium and zinc. The displays offer higher resolution and use less power than current LCD panels, according to Sharp.

Finding buyers for the IGZO panels is critical to Sharp as the company tries to end losses at its display business.

Recently, Sharp accelerated the production of IGZO panels for mobile devices at its Kameyama No. 2 plant in central Japan. Previosuly, the plant was making IGZO computer panels but their demand was limited, especially after the negotiations with Taiwan?s Foxconn Technology Group on a possible cooperation to promote sales of IGZO panels were shelved.

Besides using 4.9-inch and 7-inch IGZO panels in its own-branded Aquos smarphone and tablet, Sharp is also in talks with Dell and HP to supply IGZO displays for the makers of personal computers, the Yomiuri newspaper said Oct. 20.

Reports have also indicated that Sharp has approached Intel in order to invest in the Japanese company.

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