A number of manufacturers are presenting round, oval, heart and other variant-shaped LCD panels at the "SID 2008" exposition. In the past, variant-shaped LCD panels were showcased mainly by Japanese manufacturers, but overseas manufacturers also came up with such prototypes this time.
Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co Ltd exhibited a 2.4-inch round LCD panel that the company unveiled in October 2007 (See related article 1). "We haven't received any official orders for volume production yet, but have had a number of inquires from users who haven't handled LCD panels to date," Toshiba Matsushita said. Epson Imaging Devices Corp also developed an oval LCD panel in October 2007.
Among Japanese manufacturers, NEC LCD Technologies Ltd has newly showcased a heart-shaped LCD panel (See related article 2). The company said it can also produce LCD panels in a variety of shapes other than heart. Meanwhile, LG Display Co Ltd of Korea has displayed round and oval LCD panels (See related article 3).
Prime View International Co Ltd of Taiwan also revealed a round LCD panel. This LCD panel is, however, octagonal if its front cover is removed, the company said. Prime View shaped the LCD panel octagonal "to raise the efficiency of cutting out panels from large glass substrates," it said.
With these uniquely shaped LCD panels, the efficiency rate for the use of the large glass substrate is lower and "Production costs per panel increase" for the glass substrate cutting process and packaging process, according to an engineer at a Japanese LCD panel manufacturer.
These LCD panels seem to represent the fact that LCD manufacturers are hoping to stop LCD panel prices from dropping by adding value and acquire new users despite the disadvantages.