March 22, 2005 – Photronics Inc. has announced plans to expand its flat panel display (FPD) mask capacity through the construction of a state-of-the-art FPD mask fabrication facility in Taichung, Taiwan. This new 10,100 sq. m. facility will support Taiwan’s rapidly expanding FPD fabrication industry.
Initially, the Taichung site will concentrate on Generation 6 and Generation 7 technologies, where Photronics has established itself as a strategic technology supplier through its existing FPD mask fab in Korea. Over the next three years, Photronics expects to invest ~$50 million in the Taichung site, depending upon market conditions. These investments will include the construction of the new FPD mask fabrication facility and all the requisite tooling to support its customers in the region.
Constantine “Deno” Macricostas, chairman and CEO commented as to why Photronics is increasing its commitment to servicing flat panel display manufacturers. “The demand for FPD masks is growing at a compound annual growth rate that is more that three times the demand for semiconductor masks based on our own estimates. This robust growth is being driven by the move to advanced Gen 6 and Gen 7 process technologies.”
Construction is expected to be completed and the Taichung site qualified for production by mid-2006. Until that time, Photronics will continue supporting the demand for FPD masks in Taiwan from its existing operations in Korea.