Toshiba to sharply increase cell phone LCD output

Toshiba will triple its output of color LCDs (liquid crystal displays) for cellular phones in the second half of fiscal year 2001, the company said Tuesday.

The company plans to produce 5 million low-temperature polysilicon TFT (thin film transistor) LCD panels in the second half of this fiscal year, which ends in March 2002, according to Hiroshi Nakamura, a spokesman for Toshiba. The output in the first half was 1.5 million panels. In the following fiscal year, Toshiba hopes to increase output to 11.5 million [M] panels.

Low-temperature polysilicon TFT-LCDs, a technology in which Toshiba is regarded as a leader, have both high resolution and high brightness. The company's decision was in response to increased demand for color cell phone handsets and expected demand for third-generation (3G) handsets, which will require LCDs that can display high-quality moving images, Nakamura said.

The panels will be mainly manufactured at its factory in Saitama Prefecture, just outside Tokyo. The factory, which makes large-size LCDs for PCs at present, will gradually shift its focus to the production of smaller panels for devices such as PDAs (personal digital assistants).

The production of large-size LCDs will be shifted to a new factory, a joint venture of Toshiba and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. in Singapore, which is expected to open in July next year, Nakamura said.

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