Asia Express - East Asian ICT
Display - Hitachi, Toshiba, Matsushita JV Dubbed IPS Alpha
November 03, 2004
Hitachi Displays, Toshiba, and Matsushita have signed contracts to set up a Japan-based TFT LCD (Thin-Film Transistor Liquid Crystal Display) panel joint venture, IPS Alpha Technology. The new company is scheduled to start operating in January 2005. Hitachi Displays, Hitachi's wholly owned subsidiary, will hold 50% of the company share, while Toshiba and Matsushita will each hold 21% to 25% of the remaining 50%. A maximum 8% share may be allotted to other investors.


If all goes as planned, IPS Alpha's LCD panel annual capacity, averaged out to 32" output, will reach 2.5 million units by the second half of fiscal 2008. The company will be adopting the IPS (In-Plane-Switching) mode system technology, which enables liquid crystal molecules to stay parallel to the substrate while rotating, producing clearer, more vivid images. IPS is also characterized by a 170-degree wide viewing angle, both vertically and horizontally, as well as minimal gray-scale inversion.


The joint-venture's capital is set between 60 billion and 70 billion yen (US$563.1 million and US$567.9 million; US$1=106.4 yen), with Hitachi putting in 30 million to 35 billion yen (US$282 million to US$328.9 million), Toshiba and Matsushita each providing 15 billion yen (US$141.8 million), and a five billion yen (US$47million) contribution from other companies. Total investment will add up to 110 billion yen (US$1 billion).