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News from NET and COM '99

  • Quanta Computer Seeks to Make TFT-LCDs with Japan, Korea Firms
  • February 8, 1999 (TAIPEI) -- Quanta Computer Inc., Taiwan's largest maker of notebook PCs, said it is evaluating the possibility of investing in thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panel manufacturing together with a Japanese or Korean company.
    Specifically, it hopes to invest with Sharp Corp., Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. or the LG Group.

    Because such an investment would require at least NT$10 billion (US$310 million) in capital, Quanta Computer chairman Barry Lam said that the company will opt for a form of joint investment with an experienced partner. The idea is to avoid risks.

    Quanta also is in talks with Inventec Corp., the third largest notebook PC maker in Taiwan, on the TFT-LCD joint venture, according to industry sources. However, Sharp has the advantage in technology. Meanwhile, Samsung and LG have been the most aggressive in their efforts to do business with Quanta.

    Because the costs of TFT-LCD panels account for 30 percent-40 percent of a notebook PC, and the price of the product is highly reliant on supply conditions, computer makers all seek to secure stable supplies of the devices.

    Both the Acer Group and Compal Electronics Inc. have invested immense amounts in the production of TFT-LCDs.

    Acer Display Technology Inc. plans to begin producing such devices in large volumes in July, with technology transferred from IBM Japan Ltd. Apparently, Acer Display Technology will set aside half of its monthly output to supply its parent company, Acer Inc.

    Compal, on the other hand, holds a 3.5 percent share in HannStar Display Corp., which is set to begin production of TFT-LCD panels later this year. Also, the company has been negotiating a long-term partnership contract with LG, in the hope of receiving a stable supply of LCD panels from the Korean firm. Compal is said to have been evaluating the possibility of investing in the production of color filters.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Fri Feb 5 18:07:50 1999 PDT