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Tue, Oct 21, 2003 - Page 12 News List

Sharp will boost LCD production


Japanese high-tech firm Sharp Corp said yesterday it planned to boost production of small, high-resolution liquid crystal display (LCD) panels used mainly for products such as mobile phones.

"Because we have been seeing a rise in demand for high-end LCD panels, we are now considering raising the production capacity of our factories," said Sharp spokesman Masaaki Takeda.

He added, however, the firm was yet to decide the amount of new investment and how much its production capacity will be raised.

The company now makes 6.5 million units a month of small, high-resolution LCDs, calculated on its two-inch panels basis, at two factories in Japan.

An earlier news report said the firm will spend ?40 billion (US$366.9 million) by early next year to double the production capacity of a high-resolution LCD plant in Mie Prefecture in central Japan from 4 million units to 8 million units a month.

Under the plan, Sharp's production of small, high-resolution LCD panels will rise by 60 percent to 10.5 million units every month, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun said, without citing sources.

Sharp's Takeda declined to comment on the report, saying nothing concrete has been decided.

He said, however, mobile phone users have been demanding high-quality LCDs as firms launch cellular phones with built-in digital cameras.

"We are seeing strong demand for high-quality LCDs in Japan, where many phones now come with high-performance digital camera functions. Also we are seeing rising demand in Europe, where camera phones are becoming more and more sophisticated," he said.

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