AU Optronics Corp. ("AUO" or the "Company") (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO), jointly held a groundbreaking ceremony with the Science Park Administration today. The joint ceremony signifies the groundbreaking of both Taichung Science Park and AU Optronics' next generation Fab with AUO Chairman Mr. K.Y. Lee and National Science Council Vice Chairperson Mr. Wen-Hsiung Huang, co-hosting this big event. Guest speaking at the ceremony was President Chen Shui-Bien and Premier Yu Shyi-kun. As the first corporate to be accepted into the Taichung Science Park, AUO plans to invest more than NTD200 billion on the site which span over 60 hectare.
AU Optronics plans to make an initial investment of NTD90 billion on its first phase of construction. Completion is targeted for 4Q 2004 and initial production by 2Q of 2005.
The new generation Fab will produce 30 inch and above large-size TFT-LCD panels, targeted for the strong demand for futuristic LCD TVs. This clearly depicts AUO's confidence and dedication in the future of LCD TV, with a " full speed ahead" mentality. AUO presently manufactures LCD TV in 15", 17", 20.1" and 26"W sizes. For the second quarter of this year, AUO plans to further launch its first 14", 17"W and 30"W LCD TV panels and plans to pull off with further producing a 46"W LCD TV panel. The joint development program with Fujitsu Display Technologies ("FDTC") established at the beginning of this year will be an underlying force for the development of LCD TV productions. Combining FTDC's advanced technology, such as their patented wide view angle MVA ("Multi-domain Vertical Alignment") technology best utilized in large size LCD panel applications, and improved image quality and fast response time, this collaboration will actively develop advanced design, process and production technologies. AUO's next generation Fab will solidify its competitive position in this cutting edge market.
AUO Chairman, Mr. K.Y. Lee stated, "Our groundbreaking today signifies a great milestone for AU Optronics. As the first to brave into the next generation TFT-LCD technology in Taiwan, it verifies AUO's dedication to be a global leader in flat panel displays. We will face the challenges with continued investments, technology advancements, and strengthening human resources. Strengthening Taiwan's position in the global TFT-LCD industry".
As the pioneer in The Taichung Science Park, AU Optronics has a full line-up of recruiting events to commence by October of this year, with an initial search for over 500 talented candidates to join its forces. Within the next 6 years span, an estimated 5000 openings should be in place. With AUO's presence at The Taichung Science Park, it will be substantially beneficial to both the job market and serve as a magnetic integration of industries.
AU Optronics Corp., the world's third largest and Taiwan's leading TFT-LCD manufacturer, offers a wide-range in panel sizes. For the first half of this year, the company sold 5.10 million units of large-size panels while small-medium size panels reached 7.35 million units, bring in consolidated sales revenue of NTD42.2 billion. According to Display Search's Q1 results, AUO's shipments of large-size panels dominated 11.6% of global markets, ranking the company third in the world. Sales of PC Monitors were ranked the company as second highest. As for the small to medium size market, AUO is the second largest supplier of both digital camera and DVC applications, covering 20.6% and 16.5% of the world markets respectively. In addition, it was the world's third largest supplier of car navigation panels.