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Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Sharp to Accelerate LCD Production

Sharp said on Tuesday it aims for 10 percent profit growth in the year starting in April as it brings forward a planned capacity expansion at its flagship LCD panel plant and drives LCD TV sales in China.

Sharp now plans to boost capacity at the western Japan plant by 50 percent by July, compared with its original plan for the ramp-up by the end of the year, and said it targets LCD TV sales of at least 10 million TVs in the 2008/09 business year, up from an estimated 9 million this year.

Sharp, the world's third-largest LCD TV maker behind Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and Sony Corp , said output capacity at its Kameyama No.2 plant will be raised to 90,000 motherglass sheets a month by July, or to the equivalent of 1.35 million 32-inch panels.

Total capacity at the Nos.1 and 2 plants in Kameyama, two Sharp factories for making large-sized LCD (liquid crystal display) panels, will be equivalent to 1.8 million 32-inch panels per month.

On top of the two major plants, Sharp is building the world's largest LCD factory in Japan. The $3.5 billion plant will use 10th-generation glass substrates and will start production by March 2010 with initial capacity of 36,000 substrates a month.

The advanced motherglass, measuring 2.85 by 3.05 meters (9 ft 4.20 in by 10 ft), can yield more panels than earlier-generation, smaller glass substrates, enabling Sharp to offer big-screen TVs at competitive prices.

The Japanese company showcased at CES 2008 two new LCD TV prototypes. The 65-inch model features a thickness of 35mm and a contrast of 100,000:1. The 52-inch prototype is 6mm thinner than its larger brother.

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