Construction of World's Largest TFT LCD Plant in Mie
Amidst a recession after the bursting of Japan's economic bubble, Sharp announced the construction of the world's largest LCD plant in Taki Town, Mie Prefecture. The news that Sharp, the world leader in LCD, would invest 53 billion yen initially in the facility was the top story in newspapers and on television. Slated to start operation in July of the following year, the plant boasted advanced network CIM (computer integrated manufacturing) and the use of proprietary manufacturing processes and automation, giving it a huge leap in manufacturing efficiency. The facility would mass-produce leading-edge full-color TFT LCDs.
30th Anniversary of the Calculator
It was 30 years before, on March 18, 1964, that Sharp introduced the CS-10A, the world's first all-transistor desktop calculator. Although this first model was priced at 500,000 yen, about the same price as a mid-sized car, Sharp went on to manufacture 400 million of the 1.6 billion calculators produced throughout the world as the calculator became the most familiar electronic tool in history. Calculator development spawned a series of technological evolutions that led to advances in semiconductors and LCDs, in the process making a huge contribution to Japan's electronics industry.
Reflective TFT LCD Requiring No Backlight, a World First
In April, Sharp made waves with the introduction of a reflective-type TFT color LCD that could be viewed clearly in natural or normal room light. Compared to conventional transmissive-type LCD, which required a backlight, this new display used just one-thirtieth the power and boasted a wide viewing angle. The reflective TFT LCD became popular in demand as a display for mobile devices.
World's Largest 21-inch Color TFT LCD
In June, Sharp announced the development of a 21-inch TFT color LCD, the world's largest. This was 1.5 times larger than the 17-inch model Sharp introduced in 1992, showing the world Sharp's high standard of LCD technology. Sharp had finally broken the 20-inch barrier with this wall-mount TV.
SSAC Completed in Shanghai
In August, Sharp completed a new plant for the manufacture of air conditioners and microwave ovens. In December, the company added rice cookers to its production repertoire and renamed itself Shanghai Sharp Electronics Co., Ltd. (SSEC).
LCD ViewCam Production Surpasses 1 Million
Less than two years after the LCD ViewCam's October 1992 introduction, production of the world's first video camera with LCD screen surpassed the one million mark. The ViewCam was truly a global hit, with 460,000 sold overseas.
Worldwide Microwave Oven Production Surpasses 40 Million
It had now been 32 years since Sharp first began mass-producing Japan's first commercial-use microwave ovens. In 1966, Sharp introduced the first microwave ovens in Japan for home use. In October 1994, worldwide production broke the 40 million mark.
Sharp Again Chosen One of Japan's Best Companies
For the second year in a row, Sharp was at the top of the list of companies in Weekly Diamond magazine's rankings of the best companies and products in Japan. The same year, Sharp received top honors for Company of the Year in the Toyo Keizai Awards, for the Trend Product Awards from Dime magazine, and for the Gold Award from Mono Magazine. All awards praised Sharp for its world-leading LCD technology and its well-balanced business mix of consumer electronics, information products and electronic components.