Glass company makes 4mm substrates for mobile devices, hopes to scale up to TV sizes soon

Even slimmer LCD TVs could be on the way, following the announcement of a 20% reduction in the thickness of the glass substrates used to form the image.

US-headquartered glass manufacturer Corning announced the launch of its Eagle XG Slim line at the recent Display Taiwan 2010 show.

The new glass is just 4mm thick. compared to the 5mm currently used by most panel makers, and while Corning says the initial focus is on making lighter portable devices, it plans to add more sizes to support larger screens, such as those used in LCD TVs.

And the company, which will make the glass at its plants in Asia, and supply to Korean customers through its Samsung Corning Precision Materials joint venture, says the next step is to move down to 3mm glass. Again this will start in portable devices, then be scaled up for LCD TVs.

The company explains that the new glass will also require less processing, making it cheaper and more environmentally-friendly to manufacture: "Currently, most panel makers begin with 0.5 mm thick substrates for portable devices, and then employ a costly thinning process that uses chemicals to reduce the thickness of the glass.

"Corning's proprietary fusion process forms thin glass of pristine surface quality, ready to use as-formed. Thin input glass requires no additional panel thinning to achieve weight and thickness targets. Benefits include a lower total cost, a simplified supply chain, and reduced energy consumption."

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