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Toshiba, Matsushita In LCD Joint Venture

TOKYO -Toshiba and Matsushita recently announced in Japan a joint venture to produce low-temperature polysilicon TFT Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) panels.

The manufacturing facility will be based in Tampines, Singapore, after the joint venture company is incorporated later this month. It will start with initial capital financing of 50 billion yen ($431 million), and will be 67 percent owned by Toshiba, with Matsushita accounting for the remaining one third.

The company is to begin production of polysilicon LCD panels in July 2002. Plans are to shortly thereafter add a 123 billion-yen ($1.06 million) investment to raise per month production capacity to 55,000 glass substrate panels, measuring 730mm x 920mm, by fiscal 2003. The companies said that level represents “the highest output of any polysilicon LCD facility.”

“The joint venture allows us to fuse advanced technology from both partners and will assure that Toshiba can solidify its leadership in the low-temperature polysilicon LCD market,” stated Toshiba Corp. CEO Tadashi Okamura.

“Polysilicon LCD panels will be critical key devices for a wide range of digital network appliances such as video mobile phones, PDAs and advanced TVs,” added Matsushita president Kunio Nakamura.

Toshiba and Matsushita are considering extending their collaboration in low-temperature polysilicon LCDs into the areas of product development, material procurement and mutual supply of product, the companies said.

Low-temperature polysilicon LCDs have become a popular display choice by electronics manufacturers because of their higher image quality with a lower number of external components and connections, the companies said. The technology is said to be particularly well suited for small mobile devices and will contribute to the development of organic electroluminescent panels in the future.