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  • Sharp to Introduce Large Rear-Projection TV in Mid 1999
  • January 20, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Sharp Corp. said that it will use its liquid crystal display (LCD) technology to develop new products, including a 60-in. TV set to be commercialized in mid 1999.
    The Osaka-based company unveiled a new strategy at a press conference on Jan. 12.

    Katsuhiko Machida, president of Sharp, said that the company aims to be the largest producer of LCDs as well as a leading company that develops new LCD products.

    Sharp established an LCD system devices development center on Jan. 1, to implement that strategy. The center develops innovative LCD panels that are ahead of the general-purpose LCD panels for use in notebook personal computers (PCs) and other products, he also said.

    The center's top-priority project is to develop a technology that will enable the company to incorporate the continuous grain silicon (CGS) technology into a volume production system. The CGS technology was developed by Sharp and it allows the formation of thin, high-performance silicon film on large glass substrates.

    Sharp will market a 60-in., rear-projection television set in mid 1999 using the CGS technology, according to Shigeo Misaka, senior executive vice president in charge of the electronic components and devices business unit.

    Also, Sharp hopes to market TV sets with thin-film transistor (TFT)-LCDs that are equivalent to traditional TV sets (with 28-in. or 32-in. cathode ray tubes), said Magohiro Aramoto, senior executive vice president of the home appliance business unit.

    Sharp had previously planned to shift its domestic TV production from those with conventional CRTs to televisions with LCD panels in 2005.

    Already, the company has unveiled a roadmap stating that its 20-in. and smaller TVs will have TFT-LCD panels, 20-in. to 60-in. TVs will feature plasma addressed liquid crystal (PALC) technology, and 60-in. and larger TVs will have rear-projector technology.

    However, Sharp has not said which type of LCD would be used for its 20-in. to 30-in. TVs. The company did say that it would market 20-in. TVs with TFT-LCD panels by mid 1999.

    Misaka also said that Sharp's LCD business is expected to go into the black in fiscal 1999. He credited the prospect to continuing full operations of its TFT-LCD panel production lines and a recovery in the prices from low levels.

    Sharp plans to develop larger LCD panels and shift its product lines from LCD panels for use in notebook PCs to high-value-added products such as LCD monitors, Misaka added.

    Related story: Sharp, SEL Develop Sheet-Shaped PDA Technology

    (Nikkei Microdevices)

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    Updated: Tue Jan 19 14:54:00 1999 PDT