ZEON CORPORATION (President and CEO: Naozumi Furukawa) has announced it will invest in a new production line of the world’s first diagonally-stretched retardation film suitable for large-screen displays and based on the company’s proprietary technology.
ZEON began commercial sales of a diagonally-stretched retardation film in 2007 and has since been working to establish the technology at a small-lot production facility for medium- to small-size liquid crystal displays while seeking to expand the market. Having successfully overcome various challenges encountered in increasing display size, we will now work to significantly enhance product performance and establish a full-scale mass production system for large-screen displays. We will then begin supplying a diagonally-stretched retardation film as a base film for 3D applications in the 3D TV market, an area with significant growth potential.
At present, the predominant viewing method for 3D-LCD TVs requires wearing special glasses and directly facing the display at a flat angle. When viewed from a slanted angle, the screen darkens. ZEON will become the first company in the world to supply a diagonally-stretched retardation film for large-screen displays with optical properties to solve this problem.
According to current forecasts for the 3D TV market, nearly 40% of all TVs with 40-inch or larger screens are expected to carry 3D specifications by 2014. ZEON intends to capture a significant market share by making an early entry.
To supply essential component materials for 3D-LCD TVs, ZEON plans to expand its present production capacity to 15 million m2 per year in order to establish a full-scale mass production system. We will further expand our optical film business by installing a new facility at the Himi Plant, which produces retardation films primarily for VA-format LCD TVs.
Moving in step with developments in the 3D TV market, we will begin mass production at the new facility by October 2011.
Our latest diagonally-stretched retardation film is also expected to garner stronger demand for application as a base film for anti-reflective polarizing plates used in TFT substrates for organic EL, an area that has seen progress in the development of larger products.