updated 04:15 pm EDT, Tue July 24, 2012
Plan would see Samsung shift glass manufacture from Korea
Samsung and Corning are planning to build a new glass plant together in China. Estimated to cost $600 million, the factory will focus on glass production for TFT-LCD displays, according to Reuters. Although still to be finalized later this year, the joint venture is expected to be constructed in China's Wuxi New District, an industrial zone 120 kilometers west of Shanghai that is popular with international manufacturers.
The Samsung Corning Precision Materials Co Ltd will not just be an expansion for Samsung, as it is seeking to move production from its already existing facilities in South Korea. Currently, the Korean factory manufactures Corning's Lotus Glass for OLED screens, along with alternative glass substrates for other companies using OLED. Lotus Glass is designed to hold up to higher temperatures, be strong enough to protect thinner displays, and be tolerant of bending for curved displays.
Gorilla Glass, predecessor to Lotus Glass, is still widely used in device manufacture. Apple uses it in the iPhone 4 and 4S, and could end up using its successor in devices rumored to come out later this year. Corning is also working on a slimmer Willow Glass, which is flexible enough to be used in a "Roll to Roll" manufacturing process.