It looks like Sharp is seeing its (near) future in LCD TVs and solar panels. The company tomorrow sets up Sharp Display Products Corporation (SDP), a subsidiary based in Osaka. In addition, Toshiba will be partnering with Sharp to step up production of solar panels. The picture shows a solar-powered LCD TV Sharp showcased in July last year.
SDP will be established in order to make it easier for Sony to agree upon jointly producing LCD TVs. SDP will initially be 100% in the hands Sharp but the company negotiates with Sony to take over 34% of all shares. The new factory in Sakai (near Osaka) is poised to produce LCDs of the 10th generation starting April next year. LCD glass substrates as large as 2,85 m × 3,05 m are expected to be processed in the new facility. But Sony said in January it doesn’t want to partner up with Sharp to produce LCD TVs and today gave up on FED displays, too. So the future of this joint venture seems to be more than uncertain.
Sharp is also looking into cooperating with Toshiba. Currently, Sharp is building a factory for production of solar panels just next to the LCD factory (thin-film transistors and large-sized glass substrates are used for making solar panels, too). According to Japanese media reports, Toshiba is in negotiations to contribute electronic parts for the modules, while Sharp itself produces the solar panels.