Sharp’s G8 is the world’s largest TFT LCD fab and was originally scheduled to begin operations in October, but Sharp announced that it will start this month in August. The G8 plant is located in Kameyama, Mie Prefecture, where it’s G6 plant is also located. Sharp is ahead of the competition: ahead of Sony and Samsung’s joint venture S-LCD, Samsung’s LCD BU, and LG.Philips LCD (LPL). All have G7 plants currently in operation with G8 plans for 2007.
Sharp AQUOS LC-37D4OU, 37″ LCD TV
Sharp’s G6 plant has a monthly input capacity of 60,000 glass substrates and is optimized for 37″ and 45″ LCD TV panels. The new G8 plant will probably focus on 45″ and larger LCD TV panels. The G8 plant will have an input capacity of 15,000 glass substrates per month. Although some articles are reporting that Sharp will make 40″ LCD TVs, what they probably should have said is 40″-class LCD TVs. 40″ LCD TV panels are only produced by two companies: S-LCD and AUO. Sharp will probably continue building 45″ LCD TV panels. By March 2007, Sharp expects to enter Phase 2 and increase input capacity to 30,000 substrates per month.
By focusing on large-size LCD TVs, Sharp led in profits for the second quarter in 2006. It seems Sharp is poised once again to lead in offering great TVs later this year. Just one thing: Lower the price a bit.