We reported on a new plan by TCL to develop a new Gen 11 fab in Shenzen a couple of weeks ago. Now, TCL has announced that it will add a further investment of 21 billion Yuan ($3.15 billion) and Samsung Display has said that it will take a 9.76% share in the new fab and will receive 11% of the output from the fab. CSOT and Shenzen City government are the main investors and will own 53% and 37.2% respectively of the new fab, which can produce 90,000 substrates per month with IGZO transistors at 3,370 x 2,940, allowing 10-up 60″ panels to be produced.
The timing is that construction will start by the end of this year and will be complete by early 2018. Equipment install would start in July 2018, with mass production starting around nine months later in Q2 2018. The fab will focus on making large panels for TV and Public Information Displays.
This development is no surprise. Samsung has never invested, despite saying that it would several times, in fabs in G10 and above for LCDs. However, the moment for making such an investment outside China passed and Samsung needs to focus on building up its OLED fab capacity. It will still need to ensure that its TV business can still access the LCD panels it will need to develop according to its plans. It’s expected that Samsung will keep its own large LCD fab to feed the TV side, but a second source may be wise. (BR)