May 10, 2005 – Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp. (CMO), a maker of large-sized thin film transistor-liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels in Taiwan, will invest tens of billions of New Taiwan dollar to setting up a 7.5th-generation panel plant and a second fifth-generation facility to further boost its LCD TV and PC panel businesses, according to the China Economic News Service.
CMO’s major rival, AU Optronics Corp. (AUO), just announced a 7.5th-generation investment project, and CMO will adopt the same substrate size of 1950mm x 2250mm, with each such substrate to be economically cut into eight 42-in. TV panels or six 47-in. panels. AUO’s 7.5th-generation panel plant is scheduled for equipment installation in 2Q06, with an initial monthly capacity of 30,000 substrates, while CMO’s scheduled capacity is expected to be not too big.
CMO also plans to set up a new fifth-generation panel plant to ramp up its capacity of PC panels while boosting the output of LCD TV panels. Industry insiders said that AUO currently runs two fifth-generation panel facilities and is constructing a third such plant, which is scheduled to begin mass production by the end of the year. CMO also runs a fifth-generation facility, which now owns a monthly capacity of 140,000 substrates, close to the combined capacity of AUO’s two plants.