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Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Samsung and LG-Philips battle on new panel standards

AU Optronics supports LG-Philips' 7.5G, while Samsung proceeds with 7.5G. AU Optronics (AUO) recently announced its commitment to proceed with its plans to construct a 7.5G plant, which will process 1,950x2,250mm glass substrates, suitable for cutting into 42- and 47-inch LCD TV panels. Product prices, however, is the key of success.

The move implies that AUO has chosen to side with LG.Philips LCD, compared to Samsung's 7G production plan, which involves processing substrates sized at 1,870x2,200mm that are more suitable for 40-inch LCD TV panels.

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.

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