Taiwan's largest laptop computer manufacturer, Quanta Computer Inc (
During the weekend, the company's CEO Barry Lam (
"The investment figure will be around NT$4 billion to NT$5 billion for the research building and the associated software," Quanta spokesman Jason Lin (
Local media have speculated that up to 5,000 engineers will find jobs at the facility, which is expected to open in the fall of next year.
The facility will develop new consumer products, possibly including the latest advanced flat-screen televisions.
"I think the new research facility will be developing multimedia consumer products," said Martha Chen (
Another analyst agreed.
"It looks like Quanta is shooting for the LCD monitor and LCD TV market," said Debbie Wu (
"Quanta used to have only one 3.5G fab which they used only to feed in to their notebook business, but with their 5G fab now on-line, it looks like they plan to make LCD monitors and TVs as well," she said.
Fifth-generation, or 5G, flat-panel plants are currently the most efficient in the industry, producing bigger quantities of larger panels than older 4G and 3G technologies.
Quanta is well-placed to make LCD TVs. The company's flat-panel unit, Quanta Display Inc (
To make the flat-screen TVs and monitors, Quanta Display is planning to spend NT$110 billion constructing a new flat-panel factory in Northern Taiwan, Lin confirmed yesterday.
Quanta Display is surveying suitable sites in Taoyuan, but it is unclear whether the new facility will use the current leading fifth-generation, or 5G, technology, or whether it will make the jump to 6G or 7G technology.
With each new generation technology, the flat-panel industry moves to larger panels and a more efficient production process, thereby saving costs and increasing output.
"Right now Quanta Display has a 5G fab," Lin said. "The new fab will be a next generation plant."
Lin could not confirm how many new employees the plan will require, or when it would be completed, but analysts say the new plant won't be needed for at least 12 months.
"As Quanta's 5G plant just went on-line last month, I don't expect the next-generation plant to open before the second quarter of next year," Yuanta's Wu said.
Some in the industry have talked about leapfrogging the next generation to catch up with rivals in South Korea who are six months to a year ahead of the Taiwanese.
"The Taiwanese know they have to invest a lot of money in the new technology," Wu said. With one new flat-panel production line costing between NT$30 billion and NT$40 billion, Quanta's planned investment would fund three new production lines.