01.04.2006 12:00 AM
Samsung, LG.Philips Start New Year with Ambitious LCD Ramp-ups
Samsung Electronics , which claims to be the world's largest maker of flat screen TV sets, said this week it is now ready to ramp up its latest mass production line for liquid crystal display panels. The line was configured and completed for LCD production about three months ahead of schedule.

Meanwhile, another major LCD manufacturer, LG.Philips , recently said it has already started mass-producing its own "seventh-generation" line for large-sized monitors. (Samsung's next-gen line is also its seventh.)

Some published reports have cited industry analysts who appear concerned that the LCD industry could face over-capacity in 2006 as Samsung, LG.Philips and others dramatically increase their assembly lines' output. At the same time, others opine that such mass production by competitors will only tend to further lower prices at the consumer level and accelerate demand for large flat-screens in 2006.

Samsung's next-gen production line ("Line 7-2") will initially produce 45,000 substrates monthly--from which eight 40-inch panels can be produced from each substrate. (We'll do the math for you; that comes to 360,000 screen panels a month.) The South Korean firm said it also plans to boost production in the second half of 2006 to a full capacity of 90,000 substrates (720,000 panels) per month.

LG.Philips said in published report it plans to match Samsung's short-term and long-term LCD production output. That will mean a whole lot of LCD monitors from just these two makers this year, albeit these figures are global.

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