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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • [LCD/PDP International '98] Sharp Executive Speaks on Future Role of LCD Industry
  • October 29, 1998 (TOKYO) -- Isamu Washizuka, senior executive vice president of Sharp Corp., discussed the role of the LCD industry and product images in the 21st century in his keynote speech at the Liquid Crystal Display Seminar '98, which is being held concurrently with "LCD/PDP International '98" at the Makuhari Messe from Oct. 28 through Oct. 30.
    Washizuka noted that 1998 marks the 25th year since LCD panels were first used for portable calculators, and that in the 21st century more widespread usage of LCD products will be seen.

    Nearly all LCD makers are concentrating their production of LCD panels on notebook PCs, resulting in price declines for LCD panels, he said. For this reason, LCD panel makers have been forced to reduce their capital investment.

    However, at the same time a new market is developing for LCD monitors, and demand in that segment is expanding rapidly. For this reason, a serious shortage of LCD panels is emerging.

    Washizuka said that the industry must build product lines with a high level of cost competitiveness, and it must broaden product applications. Development of LCD panels based on these approaches is needed.

    LCD manufacturers need to develop and manufacture thin-type and lighter-weight products and take further steps by identifying and proposing new product applications.

    Also, to strengthen their cost competitiveness, producers must accelerate the throughput of manufacturing equipment.

    Washizuka said that moving toward the 21st century, products with LCDs will be increasingly popular, they will emphasize ease of use, and they will be environmentally friendly by conserving energy.

    As for specific products, Washizuka pointed to LCD TV sets, electronic books and personal digital navigators (PDNs).

    An LCD TV can readily move from a desk in a study to a living room, and serves a key role as an information interface device. An electronic book will serve as a symbol for replacement of paper, Washizuka noted.

    PDNs will comprise mobile terminals that can send and receive voice, data and images by making full use of networks.

    Washizuka estimates that by 2003, the PDN market could grow into a giant market with a cumulative total of 800 million units.

    Related stories:
    LCD Seminar '98 Focuses on Expanding Monitor Market
    Shortage of LCD Panels Projected for 1999: Dresdner Kleinwort

    (Nikkei Microdevices)

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    Updated: Wed Oct 28 18:23:02 1998 PDT