Yvonne Yu, DIGITIMES, Taipei [Monday 4 October 2010]
China is expected to surpass Japan to become the third largest production base for TFT-LCD panels in the fourth quarter of 2011, according to Digitimes Research analyst Tony Huang.
China's TFT-LCD panel makers are actively building advance production lines, with BOE having completed the factory structure for its 8.5G fab in Beijing in August 2010, Digitimes Research noted. Another maker, China Star OptoELectronics Technology (CSOT), is expected to finish constructing the plant structure for its 8.5G fab in January 2011, it said.
BOE's 8.5G plant is scheduled to start mass production in the fourth quarter of 2011, marking China's entry into 8.5G TFT-LCD panel production.
The key consideration for China to develop an industry or technology is to have full control of supply of important materials, Huang explained. Currently China relies on imports for most of the 32-inch and larger LCD TV panels. With the panel accounting for the largest part of the total production cost of an LCD TV, China has always believed that it is necessary to develop its own LCD panel industry, Huang added.
Advanced production lines refer to 6G lines and above. With 6G line becoming only suitable for production of 32- and 37-inch panels, the main focus for China's development will be on 7.5G and above.