The big maker of liquid crystal display, or LCD, glass plans to unveil a new, purer glass for use in computer monitors and flat-panel TVs. The company has said it wants to make new glass types that cut product weight and production costs.
Corning will share details of the new glass on Tuesday at an industry conference in San Diego hosted by DisplaySearch, a market research shop.
In an interview Wednesday, Jim Clappin, Corning's display chief, declined to share any specifics about the new glass processing chemistry. Nonetheless he glowed about the development.
"This is the most remarkable innovation in glass manufacturing in my experience," said Clappin.
Analysts and investors note that Corning's reputation for making the highest-quality glass in the LCD business will likely be further enhanced by the introduction of the new composition. This tech edge could prove useful as more competitors enter the market, which is dominated by Corning.
While LCD TVs and computer monitors are gaining popularity with consumers, the big risk for Corning is the stability of its customers -- the flat-panel makers that sell to product manufacturers. Fluctuations in price, demand and inventory tend to be outside Corning's control and can disrupt the company's oft-reaffirmed financial forecasts.
On Monday, Corning
reaffirmed its first-quarter financial guidance and raised industrywide glass volume projections for 2006 and 2007.
hinted at the possible introduction of the new composition during its analysts' conference in February. The company promised that the advances will enable the manufacture of thinner, lighter glass, while trimming production and waste costs and advancing the company's intellectual property position.
The new glass is in final trials with customers and is expected to be commercially available this year, says Clappin.
Corning shares rose 15 cents to $26.11 in midmorning trading Wednesday.