One of the big differences between plasma and LCD panels is that plasma can use relatively inexpensive glass, but LCDs require special glass made expressly for use as LCD panel substrates. Corning makes about 60% of the world’s supply of this special glass, but a new development demonstrated by Samsung last week could change the dynamics of that market. According to a report in DigiTimes, Samsung showed a 19″ LCD panel at the FPD International 2007 show in Yokohama, Japan. What’s special about this panel is that it uses ordinary window glass as the substrate. Samsung also announced that the panel will be entering volume production soon.
The report does not indicate whether the window glass substrates are as thin as the special glass sheets, but this development is likely to result in lower material costs for Samsung LCD panels. It will be interesting to see what performance specifications are cited for production panels with this new technology, as a significant cost reduction with equivalent performance could make LCD HDTVs even more appealing.