Substrate Suppliers’ Ventures Grow HD Display Options

Changing alliances and joint ventures among Asian LCD panel makers are creating new opportunities for the flat-panel display and TV industries (including HD products). LCD panels are cut from large glass substrates; the larger the substrate, usually the more cost-efficient the per-panel manufacturing process.

According to a new analysis from DisplaySearch, a lot of new relationships formed in just the past year are already impacting fabrication expansion plans, supplier-assembler brand relationships, panel allocation by market segment and brand, and regional supply strategies. Based in Austin, Texas, DisplaySearch said its “Asian LCD TV Panel Maker Alliances and Joint Ventures Analysis” study also concludes:

  • Samsung and Sony have aggressive strategies to each capture 20-percent shares of the global LCD TV market—thereby driving them to purchase more substrates for LCD panels from other makers (especially Taiwanese suppliers).
  • Sharp has the lowest year-to-year growth rate and allocated more of its fabrication of LCD panels to external customers. (The most significant customer is Sony among the top five brands.)
  • LCD panel-makers most impacted by the Sony-Sharp joint venture will be Samsung, AUO and CMO.
  • Sharp’s generation-10 glass substrate size will be 2880x3130mm, which DisplaySearch said will provide “better economic cuts” of 40- and 46-inch panels for Sony than previous sizes. 2880x3130mm substrates are also said to be optimum for 57- and 65-inch HD panels (providing eight and six-panels per substrate, respectively).