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AU Optronics says MOCVD rumor "is not true"

Although the display panel maker expects to increase its use of LED backlights, it denies rumors that it plans to buy one hundred MOCVD reactors.

Taiwan s biggest manufacturer of thin-film transistor LCD displays has refuted claims in the Chinese-language press that it s “planning to buy 100 units of MOCVD equipment”.

Claims apparently made in the Economic Daily News (EDN) and reported in English by Digitimes on December 20 said that AU Optronics has already placed bookings for this equipment.

However, when speaking to compoundsemiconductor.net about these reports, the company said: “They are not true, and we would like to clarify that we have no concrete timetable for LED development so far.”

According to the Digitimes report, equipment makers said that if AU Optronics did order the tools the investment would come to NT$10 billion ($300 million). It slates Miaoli County, Taiwan, as the site for the LED-making venture it was rumored to be establishing.

The company, which made NT$9 billion profit on sales of NT$263 billion in 2006, is due to outline plans for its next-generation displays on January 30.

AU Optronics says that it anticipates increased LED backlight usage in the future. Currently the company purchases LED backlight units which it then assembles into its various displays.

Using LED backlights makes thinner and lighter display modules, the Taiwanese firm says. They also offer environmental benefits by doing away with mercury-containing compact-fluorescent backlights and offering improved power-saving features.

As one of the world s top-three thin-film transistor (TFT) LCD makers, AU Optronics uses LED backlights in many of its products. These include displays for cameras, mobile devices and portable media players, in-car displays, and LCD screens for notebook computers. The displays using LED backlights range in width from 1.5 inches for small devices such as cameras to 15.4 inches for notebook computers.

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