Sharp’s president Katsuhiko Machida said on August 31, that the company’s current capacity will be able to sustain Sharp through March 2009 but needed a new fab by mid-2009. Sharp currently operates the largest fab in the world with its Kameyama Plant No. 2, a G8 fab optimized for 46″ and 52″ LCD TV panel production. Machida declined to give a straight answer as to what size the fab will be by stating that the fab size would be dependent on what size LCD TVs would be popular by then.
Sharp’s Kameyama Plants
He also said that by mid-2007, a decision will need to be made regarding the size. In my opinion, by 2008, the most popular LCD TVs will be in the 40″- and 50″-ranges due to falling prices. Of course, Sharp’s strategy has been to trailblaze in size so it would be no surprise to anyone if a decision was made to optimize for 60″ LCD TVs. Also, there is no room left in the Kameyama location so the new fab will need to be located elsewhere, probably close to Kameyama but no definite details have been given.