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HSINCHU, Taiwan , Dec. 13 /Xinhua-PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AU OptronicsCorp. (''AUO'' or the ''Company'') (TAIEX: 2409; NYSE: AUO) announced today its intention of setting up a second AUO Technology Center (''ATC'') in the Central Taiwan Science Park, which is believed to be the Park's first Research and Development facility. The Company is to combine precision machinery, optronics technologies and talented research engineers to turnout future technological breakthroughs. In this mature environment AUO plans to invest in an additional R&D facility, which is hoped to be a magnet to research engineers in optronics on to the limelight of flat panels. With the additional R&D facility, AUO's technological capabilities will gain speed and strengthen competitiveness within this cutting edge industry.
AUO Technology Center Vice-President, Dr. CT Liu , stated that since the inception of ATC (at the Hsinchu Science Park) in November 2002 , research and development investments have already reached nearly NTD 18 Billion. There are now approximately 900 research engineers on board and over 900 patent applications have been sent out. Presently, the total number of AUO's patents granted and in applicable is over 4,200 worldwide. This is a sizable accomplishment the Company's research and development team has achieved. In expanding the company's technological capabilities covering a wide-range of product mix categories, AUO plans to expand and cultivate its own team of research engineers for this great challenge ahead, inviting all talents to join this industry with great potential possibilities. This new research center is initially planned for approximately 200 research engineers, which will gradually expand to approximately 500 research engineers. Research and Development will include areas for advanced technology development in TFT-LCD, precision machinery, Information Technology application, and Consumer Electronics application technologies.
AUO President Mr . HB Chen is very positive about the Company's latest move. He stated, ''Extending our R&D center to the Central Taiwan Science Park notonly shows AUO's long-term dedication to the flat panel industry, but also offers essential technological support for our G6 and G7.5 fabrication facilities at the same site. A team of trained R&D research engineers will bein place in our central Taiwan site, which we believe will drive research institutions in this region to more technological breakthroughs on top of providing more talents to join the field. Central Taiwan has already in-place precision machinery and mature optronics technological developments where the support for our flat panel key materials and components and precision machinery are intertwined. Central Taiwan is shaping into a high technological hub where upstream supply chain are in the same facility, foron-hand and efficient support.''
AU Optronics Corporation (''AUO'') is the world's third largest manufacturer* of large-size thin film transistor liquid crystal display panels (TFT-LCD), with about 24,000 employees, dominating approximately 13.9%* of global market share and generated net income of NT $168.1 Billion (US $5.3 bn) in 2004. Targeted for 40''+ sized LCD TV panels, AUO's next generation (7.5-generation) fabrication facility production is scheduled for mass production in 4Q 2006. The Company currently operates one 6th-generation, one 5th-generation, one 4th-generation, and three 3.5-generation TFT- LCD fabs, in addition to four module assembly facilities and an R&D fab. specializing in low temperature poly silicon TFT and organic LED. Currently the most widely used flat panel display technology, AUO is one of few top-tier TFT-LCD manufacturer globally, able to offer a wide range of small to large sized(1.5''-46'') TFT-LCD display panels, which puts it in a unique position to service clients of diversified product applications.* As shown on DisplaySearch Quarterly Large-Area TFT LCD Shipment Report of September 2005. The data is used as reference only and AUO does not make any endorsement or representation in connection therewith. Safe Harbour
Notice Except for statements in respect of historical matters, the statements contained in this Release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These forward-looking statementswere based on our management's expectations, projections and beliefs at the time regarding matters including, among other things, future revenues and costs, financial performance, technology changes, capacity, utilization rates, yields, process and geographical diversification, future expansion plans and business strategy. Such forward looking statements are subject to a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that can cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements, including risks related to the flat panel display industry, the TFT-LCD market, acceptance and demand for our products, technological and development risks, competitive factors, and other risks described in the section entitled "RiskFactors" in our Form 20-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on June 3, 2005 .