Fri, Sep 02, 2005 - Page 11 News List

HannStar to use Casio technology to make small LCDs

By Lisa Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

HannStar Display Corp (瀚宇彩晶), Taiwan's fifth-largest flat panel supplier, signed an agreement with Casio Computer Co on Wednesday to secure advanced technology to make handset screens as part of its effort to return to profitability.

Under the agreement, Casio, the world's biggest maker of liquid crystal display (LCD) panels for mobile phones, will grant HannStar access to advanced technologies to make high-resolution screens for mobile devices, the firm said in a statement.

HannStar, in return, will supply the Japanese company with LCD screens for handsets and digital cameras, made using the technologies. Delivery will start in the first half of next year, according to the statement.

"The cooperation will give HannStar's profitability a boost as the new technologies will help the company improve the cost structure of its third-generation plants," HannStar said.

The company cited less cost-effective factories as a main reason behind its losses during the recent industry downturn, which sent panel prices into a freefall.

To fend off the price slump, HannStar, which focuses on making panels for computers, has said it is seeking to diversify into higher-margin small LCD screens, following the lead of local rivals such as AU Optronics Corp (友達光電).

The price drop caused huge losses for Taiwanese panel makers in the first six months of the year. HannStar reported a loss of NT$7.4 billion, or NT$1.33 a share, for the during the first half.

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