With BOE starting to build a 10.5G LCD panel factory in Hefei in December, Corning decided to establish a glass substrate supplier production base in its vicinity.
According to industry sources, BOE 10.5G fab glass substrate (3,370x2, 940mm size benchmark) monthly capacity of 90,000. Compared to the 8.5G fab glass substrate (2,500x2, 200mm size reference), the 10.5G fab glass substrate size is 80.14% larger. BOE is expected to begin mass production of glass substrates in the second quarter of 2018, which will replace Sharp's 10G plant as the world's largest panel production line.
According to sources, the Corning Hefei production base is equipped with five furnaces and three post-processing lines, and the glass substrates will be transported to the panel fab by automatic transfer.
According to Daniel Tseng, president of Taiwan's Corning Display Technology Division, BOC's 10.5G plant is being built to meet the needs of large-size LCD TVs.
The large-size TV market is expected to maintain a compound annual growth rate of more than 20%. The 10.5G glass with dimensions of 2,940mm x 3,370mm will be the largest LCD glass substrate on the market, providing the most economical cutting solution for 65" and 75" TVs. Corning EAGLE XG Slim glass will be used in the 10.5G glass substrate produced in Hefei.
According to Corning, BOE also entered into a long-term supply agreement with Corning for the purchase of glass substrates of 8.5G and below.
Since the establishment of the first 5th generation panel factory in Beijing by BOE in 2004, Corning has maintained close cooperation with BOE. In order to further expand the cooperation relationship, Corning introduced the melting and post-processing capabilities of 8.5G glass substrates for BOE's 8.5G panel factory in the Beijing Economic and Technological Development Zone in 2013.
According to WitsView data, global shipments of 65-inch or more TV panels will increase from 1.5 million units in 2014 to 6.8 million units in 2015, and are expected to exceed 8.3 million units in 2016. The corresponding proportion of total TV panel shipments in 2015 increased from 0.6% in 2014 to 2.5%, and in 2016 this proportion will reach 3.0%.