A manufacturing site currently making liquid crystal display (LCD) panels in Osaka, Japan, is set to be closed and converted into a data center.

sharp sakai factory
The Sakai panel manufacturing site – Sharp

As reported by local press including Focus Taiwan, Foxconn chairman Young Liu said the Sakai Display Product Corp. (SDP) site, located in the Sakai area of Osaka, would be turned into an AI data center.

Specifications and timelines of the redevelopment project were not shared.

Foxconn (also known as Hon Hai Precision Industry Co.) is an investor in SDP and its parent company Sharp.

Chairman Liu, speaking at a recent investor conference held by Sharp, said the pivot would be a good use of Sharp’s assets.

Construction began on the plant in November 2007. The 1.27 million sqm (13.6 million sq ft) site was launched in 2009 by Sharp, but its SDP unit and the wider company have been facing losses amid increased price competition for LCD panels. Rumors the Sakai plant might close first surfaced in March.

Bloomberg reports Sharp will power off the TV panel plant by September, after it failed to secure buyers and partners for what was once the world’s biggest liquid crystal display factory. Sharp had been seeking companies willing to use the space to make semiconductors.

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