Asia Express - East Asian ICT
Display - CF Maker Gains From Diversified Sizes
November 01, 2004
After three low-performing quarters in 2004, South SinTek Photronic, the only specialized fifth generation CF (Color Filter) plant in Taiwan, has witnessed improved performance in the fourth quarter. South SinTek now supplies to Chi Mei and Quanta Display, and is aggressively looking to secure orders from Chinese panel makers SVA Electron and BOE Hydis.


Several panel makers have been increasing fifth generation capacity. Fifth generation panel plants have advantage over 4.5 generation plants in cutting diversified sizes, and boast lower equipment costs than sixth generation plants. Therefore, not only has AUO decided to set up a new fifth generation LCD panel plant, Chi Mei also has plans to increase its fifth generation capacity.


The trend for fifth generation panel plants to cut diversified sizes is boosting the need to procure fifth generation CFs, which helps speed up the production of models with new size specifications. Although fifth generation LCD panel plants are usually equipped with CF production lines, considering the cost, technology, and workforce required for developing new specifications, panel makers will be increasingly dependent on procurement of fifth generation CFs. With an array of sixth generation panel plants launching into high capacity mass production in 2005, South SinTek is expected to fair even better.


South SinTek is a 20/80 joint venture between Hannstar and SinTek. The company was hit by glass shortage during the first half of 2004, a thriving period for the industry, and then by major customer Hannstar's fifth generation line output reduction in the third quarter. After the tight glass supply was relieved South SinTek was able to reach normal capacity.