Matsushita announced it's going to build anew plasma display panel fab to boost its capacity from 1 million to almost 2 million panels a month by 2009.
Matsushita expects that global demand for large-sized flat-panel TVs, including LCD TVs over 37 inches, will grow from 20 million units currently to 50 million units in 2009. By that time, Matsushita aims to capture a 25 percent share of the market, said Matsushita president Fumio Ohtsubo.
PDP technology has been said to have an advantage in the realm of large TVs, with LCD TVs catching up rapidly. But PDP televisions have advantages in production efficiency and cost competitiveness over other technologies, said Matsushita.
The new fab, called the fifth PDP plant of Matsushita PDP Company Ltd., will be built near the third and fourth PDP plants in Amagasaki. Matsushita PDP is a joint venture established by Matsushita and Toray Industries Inc. (Toray) that was founded in October 2000. With an investment of about 280 billion yen (about $2.34 billion), the new fab will have a capacity of 1 million units (counted in 42-inch panels). It will use a glass substrate from which ten 42-inch panels or eight 50-inch panels can be cut. The construction starts in November with production scheduled to begin in May 2009.