Fri, Nov 23, 2012 - Page 15 News List

Sharp found clients for IGZO display panels: executive

Bloomberg

Sharp Corp, Japan’s largest maker of liquid-crystal displays, has lined up customers for its most advanced panels after saying earlier this year it was struggling to find buyers.

The displays, which use a new oxide semiconductor that consists of indium, gallium and zinc, offer higher resolution and use less power than current LCD panels, according to Sharp.

Other electronics makers will probably begin selling mobile products featuring the company’s IGZO displays starting in the first three months of next year, a senior Sharp executive said at a briefing in Osaka on Wednesday.

The executive declined to name customers or say whether the products are smartphones or tablets.

“A domestic company will probably offer products using IGZO display panels from the first quarter of the calendar year,” the executive said. “As for foreign brands, you will probably see such products in the second quarter.”

Finding buyers for the IGZO panels is critical to Sharp as the company tries to end losses at its display business. The Osaka-based manufacturer on Nov. 1 forecast a record net loss of ¥450 billion (US$5.5 billion) for the year ending March 31 amid falling prices and demand, a strong yen and competition from Samsung Electronics Co.

The company is continuing discussions with Taiwan’s Hon Hai Group (鴻海集團) on possible cooperation to promote sales of IGZO panels, the Sharp executive said.

The two companies looked into using the technology in business-use monitors and decided against it, the executive said.

“The monitors don’t really require IGZO specifications,” the executive said.

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