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Matsushita to spend $300 million on LCD ramp up

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Japanese consumer electronics giant Matsushita today said it plans to pump Y32 billion ($300 million) into TFT LCD screen production. Matsushita clearly reckons TFT displays mark the future of screen technology, not only for the IT world but for TV too. The bulk of the company's investment is going into a new TFT production line in it Ishikawa plant, Nikkei reported today, a part of which will be devoted to displays for widescreen TVs. Extra production lines will go on stream in 2001, the company said. Matsushita's announcement comes as demand for LCD screens has reached its highest levels ever -- to the extent that producers are struggling to meet monitor and TV manufacturers' requirements. This state of affairs isn't expected to be resolved before 2001. No wonder Apple slipped Samsung $100 million to ensure a smooth supply of LCDs for its upcoming iBook consumer portable and LCD monitor line. In the meantime, suppliers have been ramping up LCD production, most notably Acer and NEC. ®

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