Samsung?s first 7G plant (joint venture with Sony) started volume production last month. The South Korea-based company is aggressively promoting the 40-inch LCD TV panel size and expects the prices to fall to under US$1,000 by year-end. As LG.Philips LCD announced it will invest in a 7.5G plant, Samsung has decided to construct a second 7G plant to stay competitive.
However, Hsiung Hui, executive vice president of AUO, indicated that 42-inch panels will be more competitive than 40-inch panels, as PDP (plasma display panel) makers have already won wide acceptance for the 42-inch standard among consumers.
Samsung?s 7G substrates can be cut into eight 40-inch panels or six 46-inch panels while both the 7.5G substrates from LG.Philips LCD and AUO can be cut into eight 42-inch panels or six 47-inch panels.
Chi Mei Optoelectronics (CMO), Taiwan?s second largest TFT LCD maker, may also opt for 7.5G substrate production, as sources have indicated that CMO will begin volume production of 42- and 47-inch panels before May.