Samsung and Sony finalized a deal where they would invest a combined $1.9 billion to build a G8 TFT LCD fab at the joint venture S-LCD on July 14. With the G8 fab, S-LCD will be focusing on 50″ and larger TV panels. The G8 fab will have a motherglass size of around 2200 mm x 2500 mm. S-LCD currently has a G7 fab with 2 lines focusing on 40″ LCD TV panels located in Tanjeong, South Korea. The G7 lines can cut six 46″, eight 40″ and twelve 32″ panels. Mass production at S-LCD”s G8 fab is targeted to commence in the fall of 2007 with a monthly glass input capacity of 50,000 sheets. Each of the two companies will invest half of $1.9 billion but does not include the cost of the building and the land.
It is interesting to see two very smart companies that will eventually invest more than $1.5 billion each for a G8 fab to focus on 50″ and larger LCD TV panels. The reason why it is interesting is that the market for 50″ and larger TVs worldwide is a very tiny fraction of the overall TV market. I mean very tiny. If I were to guess, I don’t think the 50″+ market is even worth around $3 billion. S-LCD is not the first to announce a G8 fab, Sharp is. I hope they churn out smaller sizes like 40″ or even smaller so we customers can see $999 40″ full HD (1080p) LCD TVs soon, in the fall of 2007.