3M and Quanta to process touch panels in Singapore

The manufacturing center due for a 2011 launch will make multitouch panels for tablets and netbooks

Contract manufacturing giant Quanta Computer has joined with 3M to form a new company that will produce advanced touch-screen displays for tablet PCs, netbooks and all-in-one computers.

The new company will use 3M's "Projected Capacitive" technology for multi-touch glass screens. Its multitouch technology works with versions of Microsoft Windows from XP through 7.

Quanta produces millions of laptops per month for clients such as Sony and Hewlett-Packard. 3M hopes Quanta's relationships with its customers will help it sell screens produced by the joint venture, said 3M spokeswoman Jenni Balthrop.

The new company will open later this year in Singapore, close to existing 3M facilities, Balthrop said.

She wouldn't say how much the companies are investing in the venture, which is expected to mass-produce touch modules, sensors and electronic systems for a range of computer types.

3M, a U.S. company better known among consumers for its office products, introduced its touch-panel technology last year. A subsidiary already makes panels for casino games and digital signs, among other devices.

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