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Rush to meet demand

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There is currently a major shortage of TFT-LCDs and manufacturers are unable to meet demand. In the rush to get into mass production, engineers are reported to be working like junior doctors. Companies are desperate to cash in on the market and are offering share options and salary increases to motivate their overstretched employees, we can reveal. One company, Chimei Opto Electronics has promised its staff a month's salary bonus when the first 1,000 pieces of screen glass-laminate are produced and a further two months bonus if mass production begins in October. The trouble began back at the end of 1997, when many Taiwanese and Japanese manufacturers invested in TFT-LCD's but there was very little demand. In response, the companies had to drop their prices, which created a demand that they could not meet. A number of manufacturers such as Acer and Chung Hwa Picture Tubes, are starting production soon. This is expected to ease the pressure on the companies and their engineers with supply expected to meet demand by the end of this year. Some reviewers have also wondered whether the geometries of LCD screens measure up to the traditional CRT model. One said that at least with CRTs you get a 360-degree light shine. ®

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