Official 70"+ LCD thread - Page 28 - AVS Forum
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post #811 of 1421 Old 07-12-2011, 12:53 PM
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@spec, all I'm saying is that the 152" fab exists and has for 2+ years at Panasonic. I presume it's used for fully automated mass production, but there isn't any obvious Google reference that confirms it. I doubt they can switch motherglass sizes any more than an LCD plant; a lot of the things that go on are similar.

I have no doubt that Sharp was specifically targeting 70 inches a long time ago. None whatsoever. But that said, it's quite possible that Panasonic has been getting this 152" motherglass from Corning or Asahi for a full 2+ years already and has the ability to start making 75s anytime. I think assuming they reason they haven't is because they can't is ridiculous. It's obvious they can. What's not obvious is whether there is an issue making them at reasonable power consumption levels and selling them. On that, I'd say they need to actually roll out higher luminous efficiency technology or acknowledge that a calibrated 75" is going to be ~500w and the fake Energy Guide number will still be north of 200 (in super saver mode.)

@walford, I don't actually know when they pattern the displays in plasma mfg. but they can decide to make multiple sizes / resolutions of panels from the same sheets by all accounts. So whether they decide that before cutting or not isn't especially important. If a sheet is going to be made into 2 x 65, 4 x 50 for example, the sheet handling/prep stages are done accordingly and the final work is done after cutting. In that sense, it's similar to LCD, but the process steps are very different.

I have to confess to not being entirely clear in either plasma or LCD how much is done to motherglass itself. It doesn't strike me as especially valuable to be working the full sheets at a time, but clearly it's valuable enough for certain steps in manufacturing.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #812 of 1421 Old 07-12-2011, 03:49 PM
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I asked because if the pixel density is built in the motherglass then a motherglass could at most support a pattern with two sizes/resolutions one would be 1920x1080 and the other would be 720p.
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post #813 of 1421 Old 07-12-2011, 04:45 PM
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LCD process is similar to semicon ie uses a lithography process to etch onto the motherglass (which is why earlier in the industry, equity analysts fret that share price dynamics will follow DRAM which is nonsense) so AFAIK it is done on the motherglass before cutting. So technically different resolution can be done on the masking but irrelevant as the marginal cost is low for 1080 or 720.

Plasma on the other hand is more labourious with cells built in though I'm not too sure how it's being done. Hence higher resolution is more difficult and expensive for plasma which is why they lagged LCD 3 years introducing 1080. OTOH bigger size is easier and cheaper for plasma relatively (but excluding possible SDE) due to cell structure. If we follow this logic then we can understand how plasma can be done semi "manually" as rogo said.

That is why i was disagreeing with Walford in other threads that 720p will disappear in plasma soon, UNLESS the pricing between 720 and 1080 becomes irrelevant for the buying consumer.
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post #814 of 1421 Old 07-12-2011, 05:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walford View Post
I asked because if the pixel density is built in the motherglass then a motherglass could at most support a pattern with two sizes/resolutions one would be 1920x1080 and the other would be 720p.
It definitely doesn't work that way. The pixel pitch varies between sizes, regardless of the resolution.


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Originally Posted by specuvestor View Post
Plasma on the other hand is more labourious with cells built in though I'm not too sure how it's being done. Hence higher resolution is more difficult and expensive for plasma which is why they lagged LCD 3 years introducing 1080.
More laborious but somehow cheaper. I've never been fully clear on that. I guess it's that all the filters, polarizers, BLUs, etc. add up in LCD. Regardless, it's clear that inch for inch plasma is cheaper to build.

One thing worth noting is that the cells in plasmas are created through barrier "ribs" (or at least they used to be, probably still are). For a long time, they couldn't make those ribs very small and so the notion of 1080p resolution in smaller glass panels was only plausible with terrible pixel fill ratios and therefore lousy brightness. Shrinking the ribs (or whatever equivalent is used today to create cell separation) is what allowed for higher resolution plasma and greatly reduced screendoor effect (which is not a function of pixel count, but rather of fill ratio).

As with all things, there is a tradeoff between fewer pixels and the consequent negatives of big pixels. It will ultimately prove cheaper to make 100" LCDs with more pixels rather than trying to make 1920 x 1080 LCDs that big. Turning around that much LC material per pixel will never result in a very good experience for the viewer and creates engineering challenging. Ultimately, that's why I'm certain you'll see 3840 x 2160 for the biggest screens -- it will be easier and the simplest algorithms will do pixel quadrupling plus a bit of aliasing/smoothing/etc. to make the picture look better.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #815 of 1421 Old 07-12-2011, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

As with all things, there is a tradeoff between fewer pixels and the consequent negatives of big pixels. It will ultimately prove cheaper to make 100" LCDs with more pixels rather than trying to make 1920 x 1080 LCDs that big. Turning around that much LC material per pixel will never result in a very good experience for the viewer and creates engineering challenging. Ultimately, that's why I'm certain you'll see 3840 x 2160 for the biggest screens -- it will be easier and the simplest algorithms will do pixel quadrupling plus a bit of aliasing/smoothing/etc. to make the picture look better.

This is premature speculation. For the start, it is unlikely at this point anybody will commit gargantuan amounts of money for making faciltity able to stamp 100" class glass in quantity.

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post #816 of 1421 Old 07-13-2011, 02:30 AM
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You just don't stop....

First of all, I never said it was imminent. Second of all, it doesn't require some quantity production since we've discussed over and over that not every sheet of glass is cut into an equal number of equally sized pieces and yet LCDs are sold today from said production.

Third of all, no matter what a 100" LCD is fabbed on, it will almost certainly use a higher pixel count, as nothing about the glass substrate in any way relates to the technical problem of trying to twist the giant amount of LC in a 1920 x 1080 pixel on a 100" panel.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #817 of 1421 Old 07-13-2011, 04:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

You just don't stop....
First of all, I never said it was imminent. Second of all, it doesn't require some quantity production since we've discussed over and over that not every sheet of glass is cut into an equal number of equally sized pieces and yet LCDs are sold today from said production.
Third of all, no matter what a 100" LCD is fabbed on, it will almost certainly use a higher pixel count, as nothing about the glass substrate in any way relates to the technical problem of trying to twist the giant amount of LC in a 1920 x 1080 pixel on a 100" panel.

It is completely different matter stamping panels efficiently and making unit production pieces. When talking about unit production one can expect Sharp making up to 140" panels if not bigger much the same as Pana can make 152" plasma. This has nothing to do with the real market. Real market is Sharp churning out lots of 70" at shocking low price. This will not be possible for bigger sizes.

Regarding the pixel count, this is not primary issue. If 75" can be done @2K then 100" can be done too.

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post #818 of 1421 Old 07-13-2011, 06:54 AM
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"we've discussed over and over that not every sheet of glass is cut into an equal number of equally sized pieces
"
That is why as far as I have been able to determine that the native resolution of the different pieces from an LCD motherglass is determined after the cutting process so that all of the pieces can have a 1080p native resolution if required for example which requires different pixel spacing for each panel size.
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post #819 of 1421 Old 07-13-2011, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irkuck View Post

Regarding the pixel count, this is not primary issue. If 75" can be done @2K then 100" can be done too.
The pixels are much, much larger at 100" than 75". It will be difficult to maintain response times and contrast ratios and fill ratios without increasing pixel counts. Impossible? No. But since there is no reason not to increase pixel counts, they will do so.

@Walford, I believe they can pattern the whole sheet before cutting at different pixel densities. But, again, I'm not sure when the important part of the glass treatment occurs. If it's after cutting, it further belies the claim that there is something magical about handling more of the same size panels because it wouldn't be.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #820 of 1421 Old 07-14-2011, 08:36 AM
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According to the following link cutting the glass to size is the first step in the manufacturing process:

http://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Liqu...splay-LCD.html
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post #821 of 1421 Old 07-14-2011, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walford View Post

According to the following link cutting the glass to size is the first step in the manufacturing process:

http://www.madehow.com/Volume-1/Liqu...splay-LCD.html

You do understand the process they are referring to? The glass is only cut after the Thin Film Transistors that control each sub pixel is fabricated on the surface of the glass. It is not just a large piece of glass covered with pixels. Glass that is left over typically will not have patterning for pixels on it.

Typically "Mother Glass" comes in numerous different sizes. Places like Sharp or Samsung have fabrication plants (called a fab) that use Generation 8 and generation 10 mother glass. These sizes of glass is are very large, almost 3 meters square (very roughly).

Like the semiconductor process that Flat Panel processing grew out of, you make multiple Thin Film panels for multiple TVs on one glass at the same time. When you are finished with that process, then you cut the individual screens out of the larger glass they were processed on.

Some sizes of glass work better for multiples of screen sizes all laid out to get the most use out of the glass surface that you have.
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post #822 of 1421 Old 07-14-2011, 02:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogo View Post

@Walford, I believe they can pattern the whole sheet before cutting at different pixel densities. But, again, I'm not sure when the important part of the glass treatment occurs.

Modern lithography equipment includes sophisticated cameras and exposure tools called Steppers (most likely made by Nikon or Canon).

It is no issue for these tools to do the correct sizing for pixels depending on what size the screen is. I will assume that it is all just a matter of the correct programing of the tool interface. That having been said I would imagine that multiple screen sizes while giving an efficient use of glass, will impact the speed at which the glass can be processed though the machine. Just one panel a day with say 6 screens on it by 7 days a week by 52 per year.... adds up. Real difference to a company that is judging the bottom line by thousand of panels per month.
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post #823 of 1421 Old 07-14-2011, 03:52 PM
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I'm generally aware of semiconductor lithography, what I'm not sure of is how the equivalent is done on giant pieces of glass. I really doubt that the speed of exposing the glass for one type of panel vs. another is meaningfully different. The machine is not going to care whether it's make 6 giant panels or 3 giant panels and 5 little ones. At the end of the day, the factory needs to produce some combination of giant panels and little panels and if it's more efficient to do them all at the same time or it isn't, they can make that decision.

But the factory is not governed by the speed of every machine, it's governed by the speed of one machine, which we shall call Herbie (read "The Goal" for more information). Unless the lithography step is actually the bottleneck for the factory, it doesn't matter if it can process slightly faster or not*. Doing so will not change the capacity of the factory. And unless the energy cost of the machine is significant, the speed of processing will not matter, unless lithography is Herbie. It will not "add up" if it's not the capacity constraint.

* It's possible that lithography being inefficient makes it Herbie and if it were more efficient something else would be Herbie. I actually don't know enough about modern LCD fabbing to tell you. This discussion will lead me to research however.

(Footnote: I can't find anything about making more than one size from a single substrate that post-dates 2005. It's clear that Chi Mei was worried about the problem and was developing its own solutions. It's clear that's it's doable. What's not clear is how common it is on state of the art plants. So a lot of my speculation -- and that of others -- is really just speculation, and pretty meaningless at that. I'm interested in the topic, but I'm not sure how much time I have to devote to learn more about how it's being handled these days.)

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #824 of 1421 Old 07-14-2011, 10:02 PM
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TNG is right and as I have explained briefly. The reason is that masking a big piece of glass is more efficient than cutting into several peices and mask them individually. Similarly for the semicon process you mask them first before cutting the 6"/8"/12" silicon.

The bottleneck is after cutting ie the backend process that will slow down efficiency if your panel sizes are different. If the fabs are so efficient managing different sizes then why does Sharp 8G need almost 2 quarters to convert to small/mid size? There is a limit in the backend efficiency in managing cut size.

Actually like I said before LG Phillips did make multiple unprofitable sizes from 7.5G fab post 2005 but again that's because their considerations were not PURELY profit driven. Just as Sharp now has to produce smaller than optimal sizes in 10G fab because u have to keep up the utilisation and workforce busy. No they are not running a charity but they are assuming that it will be a short term pain. And we know many Japanese panel makers then realised it's not so short term afterall.

For those wondering what the heck has this got to do with 70" thread, it is because if you understand the industry constraint, you will understand that Sharp needs to make 10G fab work in order that we might have huge TVs. Now the whole industry is watching 1)Sharp 10G utilisation 2) Sharp 10G profitability 3) Sharp 70" pricing and volume. These will determine if other competitors will even consider moving big into huge TVs or just giving lip service with 72"/75" offering at $10k. For sure they can all make huge TV using just 8G fab but the volume will not be sufficient to cost down components.

As of now Sharp is the guinea pig that everyone is watching. And we should hope the 70" volume picks up strongly even as they up the ASP 30% or more in next 12 months, so that we can have more choices (excluding those priced to beat B&O) than just Sharp in the huge size market.
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post #825 of 1421 Old 07-14-2011, 10:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by specuvestor View Post

Now the whole industry is watching 1)Sharp 10G utilisation 2) Sharp 10G profitability 3) Sharp 70" pricing and volume. These will determine if other competitors will even consider moving big into huge TVs or just giving lip service with 72"/75" offering at $10k. For sure they can all make huge TV using just 8G fab but the volume will not be sufficient to cost down components. As of now Sharp is the guinea pig that everyone is watching. And we should hope the 70" volume picks up strongly even as they up the ASP 30% or more in next 12 months, so that we can have more choices (excluding those priced to beat B&O) than just Sharp in the huge size market.

Rogo is all the time talking about multiple sizes from single sheet. From the cost point of view, scale efficiency comes only from stamping multiple panels of same size on a glass which if fully utilized . Sharp is able to do this with 70" and got the price down. BUT, still, this happened only few ys after they got their 10G plant running, the plant has not been a huge success and one can suspect they wrote down part of its cost. In addition, TV business is overall in really bad shape. This means nobody is committed to put huge investment in the 10G or higher plants. Dark horse in this picture is China were there is excess of cash, all kind of crazy investments are possible and there is huge appetite to make record big things.

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post #826 of 1421 Old 07-14-2011, 11:04 PM
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I understand how masking works Spec, that's not what I've been having a tough time wrapping my head around.

We all agree that most of the steps are being taken before the panels are cut (from my limited Googling, it's pretty much everything and after cutting there is filling with LC and sealing going on). What's open to question is this:

1) What is the factory bottleneck? This is a new question, but one of some interest per the recent posts. I doubt it's masking/litho, but if it is then it leads to....

1a) Does having different displays on the motherglass slow does that process step?

2) Is anyone in LCD currently making mixed motherglass right now?

-----------------

And Irkuck, you keep saying that, but you don't back it up. If it's your opinion, that's fine. If you know it to be true, explain what part of the process of making LCDs can't be efficient on mixed-panel motherglass. Many of the steps wouldn't seem to "care", but some of them might.

I see no step that I'd call "stamping", but there are several processes that resemble printing. None of those seem to require the enitre sheet to have the same size of panels. ITO deposition, hard coat application, anything done by flexo or screen printing, all would seem to be steps that are indifferent to what's going on, i.e. they could be making 12 different sizes of panels and those processes would be equally efficient. That's assuming the printing process is as big as the motherglass (and why wouldn't it be? if it isn't, then there seem to be no particular scale economics from larger glass). A printing plate can be imaged however you want. If you want 2 70s and 16 35s, you could make that just as easily as 6 70s.

Again, I'm not saying there is no step that actually benefits from making same size panels. I'm saying, "It's not obvious what step that is" and until you tell me what it is and why it's a big deal, you're still arguing post hoc ergo propter hoc and doing so in an odd way. You claim the panels are cheap because they are stamping 6 at once but also because they wrote down the plant and therefore there's an artificially low depreciation cost per panel. If the former is such magic, why did it take so long to achieve? I mean if the plant was up and running it was making something, but clearly not 70s till this year. That might be because of yield issues (and by the way, yield issues would certainly be an issue for mixed-size motherglass where singles of 70s were produced. You might lose the only 70 per sheet, which would have significant implications. That said, I presume yields are exceptionally high overall on these newer plants.)

If the plant is written down, it's written down and the artificially low depreciation is now baked in for the life of the plant, by the way. And to that end, they don't really need to change pricing -- an issue close to Spec's heart.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #827 of 1421 Old 07-14-2011, 11:20 PM
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1) It is the backend post cutting that is the bottleneck. The backend can handle some variations but efficiency and throughput ie utilisation will suffer if they cut say 70" and 10" on same motherglass (just to exaggerate... I'm not sure what is the inflexion point on the size mix). And important to note that there could be a few backend lines to one substrate, but then that would be inefficient.

2) You mean "mixed cuts"? As discussed previously the motherglass or substrate is the same ALWAYS for a specific fab. I would think mixed cuts are normal for bigger motherglass though the OPTIMAL throughput should be same size cut on one motherglass but non-diversification risk will be much higher, like we discussed the 75" cuts by Panny. But again it could be that they produce same cut for a month and reconfig for another cut for another month, but that would be inefficient unless the reconfig is pretty short downtime. I'm just guessing now because we only see the end result :P

We are going into a lot of technicalities here but also understanding better why similar fab from Sharp to Samsung to AUO to CMI would have such different efficiency or returns. It actually depends a lot on how the fab is being configured/run by plant manager and management directions.

And yes, writing down depreciation does not alter your Return on Investment (ROI) or your cash cost. It just makes your PnL looks better in future. But to me they are losing money as a businessman define losing money (not analysts' definition).
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post #828 of 1421 Old 07-15-2011, 12:22 AM
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So Spec, I'm certain with regard to (1) that there are multiple back-end lines to one substrate. If we return to "Herbie" for a second, if there weren't, the throughput limit would be some post-cutting operation automatically which could literally only handle one unit at a time. And that would be insane given that you could be making 6 or 9 or 12 panels at once at litho/masking/ITO patterning/whatever.

So I don't know how many lines there are after cutting, but it's going to be several and since it's not going to be 9 or 12 in all likelihood, you are almost certainly correct that's "Herbie". So having established that, we can do a little thought experiment that I will admit is fake, but the math works out, so bear with me.

So the Sharp plant can make a 6 x 70" motherglass or it can make a 2 x 70" motherglass and then 16 x 35" panels. In the first scenario, it could split the cut panels down the 2 lines in the plant that handle 70s and process 2 panels at a time for LC filling and sealing. Let's just pretend one of those in Herbie and the plant has 4 filling/sealing lines but only 2 of them can handle the 70s at this point. In the second scenario, the 70s are shunted to just one line and 3 lines are using to handle the 35" panels. Each has to handle 12. The good news is they can handle them much faster on average than the one line handling 70s. The bad news, the 35s filling/sealing are now Herbie.

From a pure cost accounting standpoint, the cost of 70s has been driven up and they are suddenly looking less good, but if you need to make that many 35s, it just doesn't matter. You had another choice which was to just run 70s on big sheets all day and then shut down everything and just run 35s the next day. Maybe they do it that way, but that's costly too. Nothing is free.

Honestly, I don't know what they are doing. But so long as Herbie is post cutting, the notion that doing same size panels is dramatically more efficient is false. Everything that happens on the non-Herbie part of the production system doesn't need to be optimized time wise and -- this is the hard part to wrap one's head around -- the system gains nothing from optimizing it time wise, in fact it might lose something.

If you get too good at making patterned cut glass but can't fill/seal it quickly enough, you build up too much WIP along the way. WIP is not good. It's messy, it requires special handling in this case. It can break. Ideally, you want the faster process to be just a bit faster than the slower/bottleneck/Herbie process.

Just to clarify (2) above, I understand obviously that a specific fab handles one size of motherglass. What I'm guessing is that the machines that do the pre-cutting steps are highly computerized and able to do their work regardless of whether a sheet is all big panels, all small panels, or mixed panels. And quite frankly, I doubt the efficiency losses of mixed panels are more than a few percent in time (which we've shown does not matter) and perhaps a few percent in materials (which could matter, but it should be fairly small).

The likelihood is that the post-cutting machines are more flexible rather than less flexible, but that a given line is ideally running a given size at a given time. There are things about handling and testing that are going to be easier when that's true. But since we've also shown that are almost certainly multiple lines post cutting, it's again not especially clear that having all of the same size is especially important or especially efficient.

Now all that said, there are steps in manufacturing whose current state I can't begin to understand. For example, the two sheets of glass are separated by a series of spacers that require a fairly even distribution. Whether that step is trivial for multiple-sizes of display on a single sheet of motherglass, I really can't say. I can say that screen printing or flexo printing is absolutely trivial for such a purpose. Spacer distribution? No idea.

Now, as for the question about depreciation, if Sharp took a markdown on the plant in the U.S. before it even produced anything, that'd look pretty bad. But Japan has its own set of rules. To be completely honest, I would not spend a lot of my time worried about per-plant depreciation if I were CFO. I would worry more about a reasonably proportional depreciation allowance per product I produced. That would make newer products in expensive new plants automatically look better. Financials reported out to the public, however, don't contain this data anyway. They contain consolidated financial data.

In terms of pricing, there's a legitimate question about what product lines to "bill" for the new plant. But again, I'd probably bill my entire LCD operation. That makes the 70s look cheaper to build even if it means my cost to produce 32s in my old plant has gone up by $2-5 per unit. I don't personally think that's bad internal accounting. It allows me to be always forward looking and aggressive. If I keep charging my new product the full freight of new factories, it always looks expensive vs. existing product. Bad way to see the world and not an entirely accurate one.

Compare Sharp to a company that builds nothing. That company will pay whatever their contract mfr. charges and that contract mfr. will use as state of the art a plant as is needed to build the item. Apple might need Foxconn's newest factory for iPad2, but an unimpressive 2006 one for Mac Mini. Foxconn is going to charge Apple more proportionally to assemble iPads because they are more complex, but not because the plant is newer. That's nuts, especially because Foxconn might well use the newest factory for Mac Mini as well (for whatever internal reason).

If Sharp simply takes all it's LCD fab depreciation and "bills" each panel it makes a proportional share based on size -- regardless of which fab it's produced in -- it's going to make the 70s look a bit cheaper than they would be for a startup with the exact same cost of an LCD fab as Sharp. But that doesn't make Sharp's accounting particularly questionable.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #829 of 1421 Old 07-15-2011, 02:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Rogo, you make acrobatic speculations but the bottom line is different: costs are minimized if manuf line is stampinĀ“ single size at maximum capacity. The business is enough bad to prevent from mixing of cuts or crosssubsidizing or other inefficiency. Profits, if any, are razor thin and they have to kick every dime out of it. This means setting a line for maximum operation and minimizing the manuf time.

Regarding the outsourcing and own manuf it is legit question and the industry is moving to contract manuf. The case is clear: one contract manuf can produce for multiple brands in cheap place and thus manuf unit costs can go down. But this is not the case for 70" since only Sharp has the plant.

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post #830 of 1421 Old 07-15-2011, 02:12 AM
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On the operation side of the fab, Rogo is fairly right. But if you are producing the same widgets, the number of backend lines could be streamlined and reduced ie operating efficiency. It is different if you produce numerous widgets. Which is why DRAM can be mass produced cheaply, vs logic or mixed signals.

The Litho process is highly automated once you tuned it properly. Heck you can mask Herbie's face on it if you wanted But the constraint on what they mask is actually by the efficiency of the back end. So even though the glass can mask 1 each of 10" up to 100" size for eg, (disregarding higher glass cost per inch for larger motherglass) it's going to be highly inefficient for the backend.

On the financial side I think you confuse financial accounting and management accounting. On Financial accounting everything is amalgamated so we have to guesstimate based on some historic figures we have on the profitability of each fab. Hence the use of ASP or similar type of terms where we look at averages, and hence depreciation and costs also averages. And averages can have funny effect on PnL for eg what Rogo said on average depreciation cost per plant if we take it simplistically.

But on a plant perspective they will have to cost out to their customers and most probably based their profitability largely on a cashflow basis. The answer to why older plants can make mac mini cheaper is because these plants probably (and hopefully) completed the payback period and capital has been recouped. But it may not have the capability / equipment to make iPads, hence irrelevant if it is cheaper. Ditto for older fabs trying to make huge size (if motherglass allows), they have to invest in capabilities.

BTW I think Mac Mini is made by Asustek/ Pegatron
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post #831 of 1421 Old 07-15-2011, 02:33 AM
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Rogo, you make acrobatic speculations but the bottom line is different: costs are minimized if manuf line is stampinĀ“ single size at maximum capacity.

Whether or not that's true -- and maybe it is -- it proves shockingly little. The notion that large numbers of industries run their plants in optimal ways for the main purpose of minimizing costs is not true.

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The business is enough bad to prevent from mixing of cuts or crosssubsidizing or other inefficiency. Profits, if any, are razor thin and they have to kick every dime out of it. This means setting a line for maximum operation and minimizing the manuf time.

Uh huh, and have you actually confirmed they can process 6 70" panels at a time after cutting? Because if you haven't, then you haven't proved that running full sheets of 70" panels is the most efficient way to do business. So perhaps your speculations are "acrobatic". I'm not saying they are, but you just toss these statements out as if they are true without even stating why you believe they are true. My "acrobatics" are at least being defined. And given the utterly small numbers of 70s being sold in the grand scheme of things, perhaps you can explain what workflow they are using to make them, switch the plant over to a different size, etc. To restate the above: If the plant's bottleneck comes after cutting the motherglass -- and Spec seems to think it does -- the relevance of how efficient the pre-cut processing stages are is relatively low. It's nowhere near as important to costs as you think it is.

I'm betting you can't define the workflow of the plant and how they manufacture multiple sizes of panels because you haven't a clue how the plant actually operates. But if you do have such a clue, please share. (Note, if the plant is only making 70" panels then it's so thoroughly underutilized that the notion anything efficient is going on is beyond absurd. They can pump out 420,000 70" displays per month and the global demand for TVs larger than 65" was something around 2 million last year. There is simply zero possibility on God's earth that the entire output of the plant is being devoted to making 5 million 70" panels.)

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Regarding the outsourcing and own manuf it is legit question and the industry is moving to contract manuf. The case is clear: one contract manuf can produce for multiple brands in cheap place and thus manuf unit costs can go down. But this is not the case for 70" since only Sharp has the plant.

The purpose of my thought experiment had nothing to do with whether Sharp was outsourcing 70" panels. Of course they aren't. It was a thought experiment to demonstrate why these overly facile claims of fake amounts of depreciation being billed internally by Sharp have no real meaning. I suggest you read it again and perhaps ask a question if you don't understand my point.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #832 of 1421 Old 07-15-2011, 07:47 AM
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A company's objective is to maximize the gross margin $ from each fab and this means that the maximum manufacturing efficiency may not be the best solution if they have to sell all the panels made at too low a price in order to sell all that are produced.
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post #833 of 1421 Old 07-15-2011, 01:15 PM
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A company's objective is to maximize the gross margin $ from each fab and this means that the maximum manufacturing efficiency may not be the best solution if they have to sell all the panels made at too low a price in order to sell all that are produced.

Absolutely correct. I referenced the fallacy of this above:

"The notion that large numbers of industries run their plants in optimal ways for the main purpose of minimizing costs is not true."

Cost minimization is a very important area of concern but it's certainly not the only criteria for determining how a facility is used.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #834 of 1421 Old 07-15-2011, 11:18 PM
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A company's objective is to maximize the gross margin $ from each fab and this means that the maximum manufacturing efficiency may not be the best solution if they have to sell all the panels made at too low a price in order to sell all that are produced.

Not necessarily because your margin is a function of yield and utilization, so u cannot have one without the other. U may have to sell lower price to increase volume/ utilization. These variables are not independent. Question for each manager is where is the optimised level? And this level changes constantly as well so your output mix have to adjust from time to time.

And there is the time frame you are looking at. Focusing on short term gains may not be profitable from a strategic point of view. 32" TV was most profitable 3 years back but that would be folly if you based your 3 year capex cycle and 5 year payback period on the current info.

The industry is dynamic though we try to simplifying so we can make sense of it at any one time, because the timeframe we are talking about can be different as well.
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post #835 of 1421 Old 07-16-2011, 12:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Uh huh, and have you actually confirmed they can process 6 70" panels at a time after cutting? Because if you haven't, then you haven't proved that running full sheets of 70" panels is the most efficient way to do business. So perhaps your speculations are "acrobatic". I'm not saying they are, but you just toss these statements out as if they are true without even stating why you believe they are true.

The proof Sharp is massively stamping 70" is indirect but clear: price of their 70" is in the same range as the prices of biggest of those panels which all main manufs are stamping massively namely the 55". While the price of 70"+ by the other manufs which do not have capabilities like Sharp is several times higher and they are not seen around much. The price of 70" is in fact so low that it must be made in highly optimized process meaning churning out same panels all over.

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post #836 of 1421 Old 07-16-2011, 04:12 AM
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The proof Sharp is massively stamping 70" is indirect but clear: price of their 70" is in the same range as the prices of biggest of those panels which all main manufs are stamping massively namely the 55". While the price of 70"+ by the other manufs which do not have capabilities like Sharp is several times higher and they are not seen around much. The price of 70" is in fact so low that it must be made in highly optimized process meaning churning out same panels all over.

I'm as bored of writing this as you are of reading this. But you can't conclude that because the price of the 70" is so low, it must be because of some process that's highly optimized according to the parameters you've defined. That assumes so many things you don't know.

It might be right, but your arguing it based on assumptions. And while some of those assumptions are probably correct, some of them are just a lot of hand waving.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #837 of 1421 Old 07-16-2011, 04:23 AM
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The proof Sharp is massively stamping 70" is indirect but clear: price of their 70" is in the same range as the prices of biggest of those panels which all main manufs are stamping massively namely the 55". While the price of 70"+ by the other manufs which do not have capabilities like Sharp is several times higher and they are not seen around much. The price of 70" is in fact so low that it must be made in highly optimized process meaning churning out same panels all over.

Sharp's main product according to the analysts post Sharp's strategy briefing last month is still 60"
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post #838 of 1421 Old 07-16-2011, 05:02 AM
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Sharp's main product according to the analysts post Sharp's strategy briefing last month is still 60"

However, it's not their Product Marketing Target - the 70" is and will remain so and the 60" will simply be another tier choice for consumers down at about half the price. I see absolutely no ad's of any sort of media for 60" Sharps (Coat tails panel) because the attention getter will be the Big Bad Ass Brother 70" even the X5 will provide both 60/70" (according to Flatpanelshd yesterday) but you can bet the Marketing will be focused on the 70/69.5" Sharp. I believe it'll remain this way for 2011 until CES 2012 when they may switch gears to perhaps going being QUATTRON (as was discussed by US Market CEO in 2010) or maybe Passive 3D.

What I find surprising is they don't appear to be contracting any 70" Glass out to anyone but themselves when historically Sharp has sold nearly 50% of their glass to rebadgers. Amazing how long this thread has lasted with so little 70+" product actually qualifying in N. America market. I don't know why it's such a strong debate topic as to how Sharp can produce a 70" and make a profit when it's here and selling and they produce 65" Panels for at least 6 years that used to weigh twice as much and bulky as hell and if you think about it with the massive motherglass whats' the big deal stretching 4-5" and using the same inner components for the most part - the backlight is expanded but the processing and chip sets don't change all that much with size.

I doubt the R&D sat around a conference room trying to determine how they could build a large panel and LOSE money - that's the opposite of what's done and it's not like they just started producing large LCD's 3 months ago - six+ years they've been doing this so they have a history of 65" Glass at K1/K2 and in Mexico their economical 65" panel and last year 67" was planned at Saiki and cancelled to be replaced with 70" this year. The original 65" had an MSRP over $20K and weighed double 6" thick and now here we are with a 70" much superior to that model at about $3K or less - if only they could do that with auto's we could all drive Bentley's after 6 years.

Samsung 65F8000, 60D8000, 40HU6350, Panasonic 50E60 LCD's
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post #839 of 1421 Old 07-17-2011, 10:28 PM
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Newflow today. And as discussed component cost and size efficiency is paramount in this co-operation:

"Sharp and Foxconn have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture in Taiwan by the end of 2011, with each to hold a 50% stake, mainly for joint procurement of components for LCD TV panels to minimize costs in order to compete against South Korea-based vendors.

Joint procurement will include glass substrates and color filters (CF), the report indicated. Through the joint venture, Chimei Innolux (CMI), an affiliate of Foxconn, will provide Sharp with TV panels of 20-40 inches, while Sharp will supply 60-inch and larger panels for CMI to minimize production costs.

In line with the exchange in panel supply, Sharp has transferred energy-saving panel technology to CMI and will appropriate part of in-house capacity for making small- to medium-size panels used in smartphones and other types of terminal devices."
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post #840 of 1421 Old 07-18-2011, 01:26 AM
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Some of us have not bought into the notion that the 70" is a money loser, westa.

That said, I suspect the volumes of 60s they are selling is still 3-5x the number of 70s they are selling, perhaps more. It's a $1500-2100 product at Costco, making it a great bargain in that category as well. I mean, yes, the marketing money is behind the 70" because it's unique, but the excessive pumping out of 60s is where the money is.

It's worth noting also, that the previous generation Sharp 65 ultimately died because it was, in fact, not profitable enough/a money loser. So when Spec/Irkuck speculate that the 70 might not be fully pulling its weight, they may be right. They intro'd that model at an aggressive price in its day and when the Panasonic pressure came, they couldn't compete, which is why it left the market. Sharp, to its credit, sees the world far, far differently from Samsung/LG/Sony/etc. If Samsung had Sharp's current fab, there wouldn't be a $3000 70" TV.

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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