Sony, Sharp partner for world's most advanced LCD plant

The deal gives Sony a 34 percent stake in the new factory

Sharp and Sony have agreed to form a joint venture to operate a new LCD plant in Japan, completing a plan that was earlier postponed because of the global economic downturn.

The deal secures Sony a stable supply of LCD panels for its Bravia LCD televisions while also relieving Sharp of some of the investment and operation costs of the ¥430 billion (US$4.5 billion) factory. Sony will take a 34 percent stake in the plant thus funding 34 percent of the cost of the factory and giving it rights to 34 percent of the output.

The factory is already under construction and is due to open in March next year at which time it is expected to be the most advanced LCD factory in the world.

The level of technology at an LCD factory is measured by the size of mother glass sheets, which are the large glass sheets on which several panels can be made. Size is important because larger sheets mean greater efficiency and lower costs. And in the cut-throat flat-panel TV business cost is one of the most important factors to success.

The new factory is a so-called 10th generation LCD plant, which means it can handle mother glass measuring 285 centimeters by 305 centimeters. On such a sheet it is possible to make six LCD panels in the 60-inch class, eight panels in the 50-inch class or 15 panels in the 40-inch class.

When it begins production the factory will be able to handle 36,000 such sheets of mother glass per month but will be expanded to eventually reach 72,000 sheets per month.

Sony and Sharp have been negotiating the joint venture since February 2008, when they originally set September as a deadline for an agreement. However the poor economic conditions that prevailed from late last year led the two companies to agree on a one-year delay in Sony's investment in the factory. Sharp however continued construction of the factory to the original schedule.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags sonylcdsharp

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?