Sakai City, Japan - Sharp opened here this Thursday its long-awaited 10G LCD plant, which the company calls the "most advanced LCD plant in the world."
The Sharp Green Front Sakai facility will include manufacturing plants for LCD panels as well as thin-film solar cells.
The LCD plan will start out with a production capacity of 36,000 substrates per month, gradually ramping up to 72,000 substrates per month.
Sharp will use its proprietary UV2A4 photo-alignment technology at the plant to produce high-contrast, energy-efficient panels of 40 inches and larger.
Each 10th-generation glass substrate measures 2,880 by 3,130mm, each of which can be cut up to produce smaller screen sizes for LCD TVs. The more efficient plant operations will result in ever larger LCD TVs at attractive price points for the consumer, the company said.
Each substrate can yield six 60-inch class panels or 15 40-inch class panels.
The two screen sizes are increasingly becoming critical spots in the market. The company believes demand for the 60-inch LCD category will grow as the rear-projection category recedes and consumers seek out affordable large-screens for their main viewing rooms.
The 40-inch screen size was called out by Sharp as "an ideal size for consumers looking for an option for a secondary TV in the bedroom."
The Sakai City factory features on-site subcontractor facilities that produce glass and other key components needed to produce LCD panels.
Sharp said the new plant was development to be environmentally friendly. The company is adopting LEDs for all indoor and outdoor lighting (approximately 100,000 LED lights) throughout the complex, and has installed solar panels on all factory roofs to provide some of the plant's electricity needs.