February 8, 2007 – Corning Inc. says its board has approved spending $160 million to expand manufacturing capacity for large-size glass substrates for active matrix liquid-crystal displays (LCD) at its facility in Shizuoka, Japan.
Expenditures will be spread out over the next year and a half, with production of G8 glass substrates expected to begin by mid-2008. Corning currently makes its Eagle XG ^8 glass substrates at the site, which contain no heavy metals and no halides.
“The increased capacity will create additional support for our customers in Japan and Taiwan, who are experiencing growing demand as LCD TV strengthens its hold on the 40-in. and larger market,” said James Clappin, president of Corning Display Technologies. Corning signed a long-term supply deal last year with Sharp Corp. to become the majority glass substrate supplier to Sharp’s Gen8 fab in Mie Prefecture.
The decision to expand larger-substrate production is to take advantage of 30% LCD glass substrate market growth this year, the company noted in a statement, while LCD TV penetration is expected to increase from 22% to 33% of the global TV market. The firm added that it is already beginning R&D on Gen9 and larger substrates.