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Sony-Toyota joint venture invests in LCDs

ST Liquid Crystal Display puts $91.4 million into expanding its production of low-temperature polysilicon LCD panels.

ST Liquid Crystal Display, a joint venture between Sony and Toyota Industries, has invested $91.4 million in expanding its production of low-temperature polysilicon LCD (liquid crystal display) panels. The additional cash will increase production by 25 percent per month starting in April 2005. Capacity will increase from 32,000 glass base plates to 40,000, yielding 9 million 2-inch panels.

Market demand for the panels has increased as digital video and still cameras, handhelds and cell phone shipments have grown. ST LCD also is working on organic light-emitting diode displays, which is viewed as the successor to LCDs, because the light-emitting materials used in the screens mean that a backlight is not necessary.