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KYOCERA to Mass Produce Glass/Glass Touch Panels for LCDs

New technology greatly improves visibility and durability over conventional film/glass touch panels

September 18, 2008
Kyocera Corporation (President: Makoto Kawamura) announced today that it will begin mass producing glass/glass touch panels for liquid crystal displays (LCDs) in October 2008, a move that fully engages the company in both the LCD and touch panel markets.

Kyocera’s new touch panels feature a unique glass/glass structure which provides superior visibility and durability compared with the film/glass structure of conventional LCD touch panels. By equipping its current LCD models with the new glass/glass touch panels, Kyocera will release a new line of high value-added touch panel LCDs ideally suited for use in industrial equipment. Kyocera will also supply touch panels separately.

Photo: Kyocera's highly durable glass/glass touch panels (middle and right), LCD equipped with glass/glass touch panels (far left).
Kyocera's highly durable glass/glass touch panels (middle and right),
LCD equipped with glass/glass touch panels (far left).

Image: Cross section: Glass/grass touch panel

This product will be on display from September 30 – October 4 as part of CEATEC JAPAN 2008 at Makuhari Messe, Chiba, Japan

Market Background

Industrial equipment manufacturers are generating increased demand for touch-panel-equipped LCDs, which permit greater design flexibility, user-friendliness and space efficiency. At the same time, these customers demand continuous improvement in operational stability, visibility in varying light conditions, and durability in harsh outdoor environments.

In response to these demands, Kyocera will provide touch panels that feature a glass/glass structure ― using glass as the substrate on both the main body side and the “touch” side ― instead of the conventional structure which uses a film for the “touch” substrate. This glass/glass structure provides higher transparency with clear visibility, and its hermetically sealed structure ensures improved durability as well.

Kyocera manufactures and distributes LCDs mainly for industrial applications, such as factory automation, measurement instruments, and medical equipment. By entering the touch panel business, Kyocera will be able to respond to diverse customer demands by drawing on its extensive experience in customization and rich resources as a stable supplier.

Kyocera further improves the overall visibility in outdoor applications by offering glass/glass structure touch-panel-equipped LCDs as a complete unit with “inner touch panel” ― a design which transfers the polarizer surface coating, typically applied directly to the LCD, to the “touch” substrate ― drastically reducing the amount of inner reflection between the touch panel substrates and the LCD.



Glass/Glass Touch Panel


5.7” and 6.2” (analog resistive type) to be mass produced immediately; units of other dimensions to follow.

Production Site

Kagoshima Hayato Plant; Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan

Mass Production Schedule

10,000 units/month in the first year of production
50,000 units/month expansion after three years

Features of the Glass/Glass Touch Panel
1. Clear Visibility
  The use of highly transparent glass substrates reduces diffraction and warping, ensuring clear visibility.
2. Superior Durability
  Because glass is used for the substrates on both sides – as compared to the conventional film/glass structure  – the panel provides superior durability within a wide range of temperatures.* The panel also resists condensation, even in environments with high humidity.
*Storage temperature range: -40°Cto 95 °C, Operating temperature range: -30°C to 85°C
3. Customization Capacity
  Calling on the extensive experience in flexible customization developed through its LCD business, Kyocera can meet custom requirements for substrate thickness, overall size and optional surface films.

•Substrate thickness:

Operational side: 0.2 mm
Display side: 0.5 mm to 1.8 mm

•Display sizes: 3.5” to 10.4”
•Surface film: Kyocera can provide optional film coatings, including “inner touch panel,” to counteract a wide range of reflection and glare conditions
4. Long Term Supply Stability
  Customers in the industrial equipment market require long-term stability in their supply chain, even for products shipped in small quantities. In addition to fulfilling exact specifications, Kyocera’s expertise as a manufacturer of both touch panels and LCDs offers unique opportunities for design collaboration while ensuring stable supplies of both LCDs and touch panels over the long term.

Future Developments
To meet emerging demands, Kyocera is planning to expand its product line with the potential development of direct bonding ― a technology that significantly reduces surface reflection by affixing the touch panel and LCD together with transparent adhesive ― along with the development of a projection-capacitive touch panel capable of multi-point touch detection.