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Taiwan flat panel makers upgrade technology in China production
Central News Agency
2014-03-01 05:21 PM
Taipei, March 1 (CNA) Taiwan flat panel suppliers are upgrading production technology in their plants in China, with some of them shifting from the traditional amorphous silicon technology to the more advanced low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) development, according to a research report. In the report, market information advisory firm DisplaySearch said one Taiwanese firm focusing on high-end screen technology development, AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), will apply LTPS technology in a plant located in China's Jiangsu Province. The LTPS technology can be easily applied to high-end panels featuring high resolution of 330 pixels per inch (ppi) and above, as well as ultra-narrow bezels. The technology is used in Amazon's Kindle Fire tablets and Google's Nexus 7 tablets. AUO has announced that it will transform its Kunshan plant into a 6th-generation production site rolling out small and medium-sized panels, from a previously planned 8.5th-generation one producing large panels. Construction of the Kunshan plant was completed after AUO obtained a greenlight from the Taiwanese authorities to set up the 8.5th-generation plant in China about three years ago, but the new plant needs to be equipped with production facilities before it can start operating. AUO said the plant is scheduled to become operational in 2016. The advisory firm said that as AUO has taken the lead over its Chinese peers in panel production, it is likely that its adoption of LTPS technology will further strengthen its technological advantage in producing high-definition displays for handheld devices. In addition, Foxconn Technology Group, the world's largest contract electronics maker, is mulling the possibility of setting up a 6th-generation panel plant in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, to tap the growing smartphone market in China, DisplaySearch said. DisplaySearch said Foxconn, known in Taiwan as Hon Hai Group, had previously planned to introduce Sharp technology to produce small and medium-sized panels, but now has changed its mind and is developing the LTPS process on its own. The Foxconn investment plan aims to produce 24,000 small and medium-sized panels per month in the initial stage. As Foxconn assembles iPhones and iPads for Apple Inc., the Taiwanese group is gearing up to stabilize a supply chain for its assembly line, including panel supplies. Meanwhile, DisplaySearch said that Chunghwa Picture Tubes Ltd. is planning to set up a new plant in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, for active-matrix organic light-emitting diode screen production. (By Pan Chi-i and Frances Huang)
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