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TFT famine runs until 2001

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The Great TFT Shortage will last until the beginning of 2001, according to a poll of Taiwanese manufacturers. They say previous forecasts (that the shortage would be over by Q2 next year) were too optimistic. Cash-strapped Korean vendors have turned out to be the fly in the ointment for the forecasters. Now they have some money, but they still have to wait in line for semiconductor equipment manufacturerers to supply them with steppers, which are needed for the first stage of the TFT LCD FPD shortage, according to Taiwan's Commercial Times. The semicon equipment makers are capable of making only 60 steppers a year each, and their order books have long been filled up by Taiwanese vendors. Manufacturers of TFT components (such as substrates and colour filters0 are also failing to keep pace with demand, the Commercial Times says. New production capacity is expected to come on stream in the second half of 2000. ®

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