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First 52in LCD panels roll of S-LCD's 8G line

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S-LCD, a joint venture between Sony and Samsung, has seen the first fruits of its latest labours. Its production line has begun punching out eighth generation LCD panels for use in 52in HDTVs.

The production line, located in South Korea, is not yet at full capacity, but it's claimed that by the end of this year it will be capable of producing 50,000 screens a month, for use in displays ranging between 46in and 52in.

Both Sony and Samsung invested around KRW1.8tr ($1.9bn) in the joint venture, which was originally announced in July 2006. S-LCD already has a seventh-generation line in production that, it claims, ships 60,000 panels each month to meet demand for 40in LCD panels.

LG.Philips LCD has already announced that it too will manufacture eighth-generation panels of a similar size. Both 8G efforts will put further pressure on plasma manufacturers to develop larger size displays in response.

Market watcher In-Stat recently predicted that within four years LCD displays will account for 75 per cent of the TV market, leaving plasma with the lion's share of the remaining 15 per cent.

S-LCD hasn't yet confirmed when it expects the first eighth-generation LCD HDTV displays to be available in shops.

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