IPS stands for in-plane switching, a LCD technology that provides extra wide viewing angles, solid color reproduction and minimizes color shifts and different anglae… and a favorite of Apple and all those that require a high level of color fidelity on screens. Matsushita and Hitachi will purchase US$133 million stakes in IPS Alpha and expand its capacity. Half of the investment will go toward building a module assembly plant in the Czech Republic and the other half will go toward expanding LCD production capacity in Japan. Currently, the company’s LCD monitor panel production is 2.5 million units per year and the added capacity will bring that to 5 million units by 2008.
IPS Alpha is a joint venture among Hitachi, Toshiba and Matsushita with most of the display technology coming from Hitachi, a pioneer in IPS technology. The current leader in shipping IPS-based panels is LG.Philips LCD, based in South Korea. All of Apple’s LCD monitors are based on panels from LPL and are IPS.