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January 06, 1997 in Social Responsibility News

SAMSUNG Breaks Ground for 3rd TFT-LCD Line

Seoul, Korea, January 6, 1997 : Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (SEC) has been a ggressively pursuing the development of its thin-film-transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) business. To be a future market leader in TFT-LCDs, the company has recently started to construct a next-generation production facility at Cheonan, Korea.

Investment in the new facility will total around US$900 million over a two-year period. Samsungs third TFT-LCD production line, scheduled for startup in mid-1998, wi ll be capable of handling thirty thousand (30,000) 600x720mm glass substrates a month. This new line will be in addition to Samsung's existing TFT-LCD productio n lines for the 2nd-generation 370x470mm glass substrates and the 3rd-generation 550x650mm glass substrates at Kiheung, Korea.

Samsung Electronics will be the first in the industry to adopt the 600x720mm size, which allows the company to produce six 13.3-inch Extended Graphics Array (XGA - 1,024x760xRGB 2.36 million pixels) panels for notebook PCs from a single glass substrate.

This size also makes possible the production of six 13.3-inch S uper Extended Graphics Array (SXGA - 1,280x1,024xRGB 3.93 million pixels) panels or four 17.1-inch SXGA panels for monitors from each glass substrate.

Samsung selected the 600x720mm size because the demand for 13.3-inch XGA scre ens used on high performance notebook computers is increasing rapidly. At the sa me time, the company has the capability to turn out wide viewing angle, bright, high contrast, and low power consumption 13.3-inch SXGA panels (used to replace 15-inch cathode ray tube monitors) and 17.1-inch SXGA panels (which will replace 20-inch CRT monitors).

Production equipment designed for 550x650mm glass substrates, which has been proven to be stable in production, can be altered to accommodate the new 600x720 mm glass substrates. Therefore, the new glass substrate size has been recommende d as the next standard for the production lines used by members of the US Displa y Consortium (USDC). The 650x830mm size has also been discussed as the one to su cceed 550x650mm glass substrates, but that size has yet to be proven stable in a ctual production. Nine 12.1-inch panels can be made from 650x830mm size glass su bstrate. In addition, 1x1m glass substrate has been suggested, but more time is needed to make this one commercially viable.

Samsung's announced investment in its next production line is expected to hav e a profound effect on determining how other players in the TFT-LCD industry inv est. This is because the size of the glass substrate has a major impact on the s uccess or failure of the operation. Deciding the size is based on accurately ana lyzing and predicting target markets and infrastructure (such as the capability of production facilities to adapt to future markets and materials used in TFT-LC D components). Samsung Electronics has recommended a glass substrate size center ed on market forces, which is seen as an inducement for other makers to adopt th is size as their standard.

The Samsung Group's involvement in semiconductors has been a springboard for entry into the TFT-LCD business. Samsung Display Devices Co. supplies the color filters; Samsung Corning Co. provides the glass substrates and Samsung Electroni cs makes the driver ICs. This synergy results in much greater competitiveness th an other companies involved in TFT-LCDs.

Samsung Electronics' monthly TFT-LCD output is worth more than US$40 million, and TFT-LCD sales in 1997 are projected to be far in excess of US$300 million. Samsung is expanding its supply of TFT-LCDs to leading computer makers such as T oshiba, IBM, and Apple. If the company's growth trend continues at the current p ace, annual TFT-LCD sales by 2001 will be over US$2 billion, making Samsung one of the world's top makers.

The world TFT-LCD market in 1996 was US$6.5 billion and is expected to jump t o US$10 billion in 1997. As TFT-LCDs replace CRTs in desktop monitors, annual sa les are predicted to reach US$20 billion by the year 2000. Demand for TFT-LCDs c urrently is some 30 higher than supply, and materials are very hard to find.

Samsung Electronics Company Ltd., a US$21 billion company of the US$87 billio n (95) Samsung Group, is a world leader in electronics, with operations in more than 60 countries. The company challenges itself to make consumer electronics, s emiconductors and industrial electronics that are effective, useful, simple and powerful. Samsung Electronics employs over 70,000 people worldwide.

Background Data:

Glass Substrate Size and Number of Panels:

Substrate:10.4"11.3"12.1"13.3"14.1"17"370x470mm422221 550x650mm666442 600x720mm866644

Note: 5:4 aspect ratio, Unit:

panels TFT-LCD Panel Price History

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