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Sharp attuned to bigger LCD displays

The Japanese maker of digital technologies announces large-format liquid-crystal displays, measuring up to 40 inches, for TV and commercial applications.

Sharp Microelectronics this year plans to make available a wider range of large-format, liquid-crystal displays, in sizes of up to more than 40 inches.

The new displays will come in 26-, 32- and 40-inch sizes, the company announced Friday. A new version of an already available 37-inch module is also in the works.

The products will be manufactured at Sharp's new, $850 million production facility at Kameyama City, Japan, which is set to open this month.

Such displays can be used for LCD television sets, signs, advertising kiosks, gaming displays and surveillance, the company said.

The displays will feature the company's proprietary technologies, such as its Quick Shoot function that eliminates ghosting--the effect of an image being displayed continuously on a screen; ASV, designed to give 170-degree symmetric viewing; and Ultra-High Aperture (UHA) for higher brightness and better colors. Sharp said the panels will be available to gear makers in North America.

LCD televisions make up a small portion of the total television market, but this segment is heating up with the growing popularity of flat-screen TVs. Large panels are also in demand for non-TV uses. The total demand for LCD displays is estimated to grow 7 percent annually, Sharp said.

Sharp is the market leader in finished LCD TV products and has a 29 percent market share in LCD module shipments, according to research done by Display Search and cited by Sharp. Sony, a Sharp rival, sells LCD computer monitors and TV sets, but it buys displays from a third party.

Sony has been planning to make further inroads into this market by getting into production of LCD screens.

"With the new displays, we've attained LCD technology breakthroughs that will usher in even more widespread consumer acceptance," Joel Pollack, vice president of the Display Business Unit at Sharp said in a statement. "We expect to see the large-format LCD panels become the display of choice in both consumer and commercial applications."