Corning has completed the construction of a glass factory at Wuhan, adjacent to BOE’s liquid crystal display (LCD) factory.
This will likely boost the Chinese display panel maker’s production of large LCD TV panels larger than 65-inches.
Corning’s Gen 10.5 (3370x2940mm) LCD glass factory was built next to BOE’s Gen 10.5 B17 factory.
The US glass firm’s factory made its first prototype in January this year.
It was originally planned to be completed earlier but was delayed by the pandemic.
It is Corning’s sixth LCD glass factory in China. The company has Gen 8.5 (2200x2500mm) LCD glass factories in Beijing, Chongqing and Sichuan province.
The new one at Wuhan is the firm’s second Gen 10.5 glass factory after the one completed in Hefei in Anhui province.
Gen 10.5 has better productivity in making large display panels compared to Gen 8.5.
Gen 8.5 can make six 55-inch panels per substrate. It uses 90% of the surface of the substrate. But it can only make three 65-inch panels and two 75-inch panels per substrate. It also use only 60% of the substrate.
By comparison, Gen 10.5 substrate can make eight 65-inch panels and six 75-inch panels. Over 95% of the substrate is used. Gen 10.5 production lines can also make two to three times the panels for 65-inch and 75-inch sizes over Gen 8.5 in the same time frame.
Market research firm TrendForce expects shipment of 65-inch TVs or larger sized TVs to grow by over 30% this year compared to 2020.
TV manufacturers are focusing on large TVs due to lowered profitability over TVs smaller than 55-inches.
LCD TV panel prices are also continuing to increase, making it more profitable for OEMs to make TVs larger to secure profitability.
Corning is planning to begin operation of another Gen 10.5 glass factory at Guangzhou in September. This is being built to support Sharp, which has a Gen 10.5 display factory there. CSOT also operates two Gen 10.5 factories in nearby Shenzhen. CSOT procures its glass for Asahi Glass.