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Sharp Display Ramps up for Samsung

18 April 2013

Outsourcing makes for strange bedfellows. And among the strangest to come along in a while is a just announced deal whereby Sharp Corp. will manufacture LCD panels for Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

The plan is for Sharp to supply energy-saving, high-performance LCD panels for Samsung notebook computers as early as this summer, according to Reuters.

Sharp will manufacture 11.6 inch indium-gallium-zinc oxide (IGZO) panels for Samsung at its plant in Kameyama, Mie Prefecture. The deal is expected to lift the plant's operating capacity rate from the current 60 percent.

In March, Sharp and Samsung announced an agreement under which Sharp would supply large TV panels and phone-sized LCDs to Samsung, which would take a 3 percent stake in the Japanese company. Samsung’s investment totals about $110 million.

Sharp and other Japanese display manufacturers have been struggling for the past few years in part due to high-quality, low-cost panels from South Korea and Taiwan.

Although Samsung mainly sources its LCD requirements from its own display unit, Samsung Display, it also purchases panels from Sharp and Taiwanese manufacturers.

Sharp has also received a $120 million investment from chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. for power-saving screens based on Sharp's IGZO technology.

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