Sony and Samsung have signed an agreement to start work on a new production plant in Korea that will churn out eighth generation TFT LCD screens.

The agreement is for a $1.9 billion expansion of their current seventh generation LCD plant.

The new motherglass measure 2.2 by 2.5 meters and yields more panels so that larger screens can be made. Six panels go in to a 50-inch TV, or eight for a 46-inch TV, and 50,000 will be able to be produced in the new factory.

Samsung has predicted that sales from the new eighth-generation screens will reach 2.2 trillion Korean won ($2.3 billion) by 2008.

The plant, which will be built in the province of Chungcheongnam-do, is expected to be finished in July next year.