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  • Japan, Korea Develop TFT-LCDs to Face Challenges from Taiwan
  • March 10, 1999 (TAIPEI) -- With five more Taiwan companies preparing to enter the thin-film transistor liquid-crystal display industry, manufacturers in Japan and Korea are pushing higher end technologies to keep their market grip.
    They have accelerated their development of low-temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) TFT-LCD in a bid to continue controlling the market with more advanced products.

    Currently, six companies in Taiwan are planning to build plants for the production of large-sized TFT-LCDs, including Chunghwa Picture Tubes Co., Ltd., Acer Display Technology Inc., Unipac Optoelectronics Corp. and Quanta Computer Inc. These companies are expected to invest at least NT$110 billion (NT$33.14=US$1) in the sector, making TFT-LCD the second-largest investment target here after integrated circuits/semiconductors.

    However, these Taiwan companies are all to produce amorphous TFT-LCDs, which are less advanced than the LTPS TFT-LCDs currently being developed by their Japanese competitors. LTPS TFT-LCDs have the advantages of faster reaction, smaller size and lower production costs. But because they are still under development, related technology, production equipment and product yields are all unstable.

    Local observers point out that compared to Japanese and Korean companies, Taiwan manufacturers got a late start in the TFT-LCD industry, and they depend heavily on imported technology.

    Most local companies are now busy building TFT-LCD factories, hoping to catch up and reap the benefit of the current shortage of TFT-LCD panels. However, the observers added that Taiwan companies must pay close attention to the latest developments in the field, lest they lose out on the high-yield markets for new high-tech products to rivals in Japan and Korea.

    (Commercial Times, Taiwan)

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    Updated: Tue Mar 9 17:29:38 1999 PDT