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The Tiger Bites

LCD Juggernaut: Tom's Hardware Looks Into Samsung's Seoul
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The Tiger Bites

Now comes the embarrassing part. Rather than get flamed about it in the comments section, let’s just be up front. While Samsung was very generous to invite my group on this trip, I was completely vexed by the company’s policies on guarding information. Those two outside shots you see on page 11? I snapped those from the window in the back of our tour bus because I was warned that having my camera out on company grounds could and probably would lead to it being confiscated. I could shoot anything in the showroom, but not the LCD screen on the wall displaying animated artwork between the two lobby elevators.

At one point, Jenny showed us a clear window looking into another room. With the press of a button, the LCD window turned impenetrably opaque and gray, as if it had been magically painted. I begged to take a quick video of it with my phone but was told no. We were shown several long technology presentations, including one brilliant session on Samsung’s cutting edge AMOLED technology. I recorded the whole thing on my voice recorder, and no one objected. Then I asked for a copy of the PowerPoint slides we’d just been shown so I could turn the session into an article...and was denied. Repeatedly.

I don’t understand this mindset, but my understanding obviously isn’t necessary from Samsung’s perspective. Perhaps this fevered level of secrecy stems from the background psychology of being in a country that could very literally go to war any day. Maybe it’s just good business: inspire buzz while giving away nothing. I don’t know. But the end result was that I wasn’t allowed to bring my camera past the showroom doors. Jenny supplied me with a few images from the manufacturing operations, and I captured a few more from a video she was able to pry loose for me. But that’s it. For the following images, she was merely able to say the following:

“The fabrication process consists of the thin film transistor array fabrication process, color filter array fabrication process, liquid crystal injection process, and module assembly process. If you want detailed information of every [following] photo, I have to apologize that I am not allowed to give information about equipment and process technology. Sorry.”

If the following content feels a bit sparse, now you know why. The PR team did the best that it could, but its hands were bound...tightly.

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    p1n3apqlexpr3ss , July 19, 2010 8:03 AM
    Wow... south korea from nothing to one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world some could argue in just over 50 years, with plants like these and also with the fastest broadband connections...

    Nice article as usual as well, pity bout the actual manufacturing floor and filming stuff though :( 
Other Comments
  • 5 Hide
    dragonfang18 , July 19, 2010 6:36 AM
    Makes me wish to see Korea!
  • 14 Hide
    p1n3apqlexpr3ss , July 19, 2010 8:03 AM
    Wow... south korea from nothing to one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world some could argue in just over 50 years, with plants like these and also with the fastest broadband connections...

    Nice article as usual as well, pity bout the actual manufacturing floor and filming stuff though :( 
  • 2 Hide
    one-shot , July 19, 2010 8:06 AM
    Wow.....

    It's amazing what goes into a factory of this enormous scale.

    Did anyone notice the garage doors in the side of the Fabs in the larger pics? It looked like garage doors in the sides several stories up. Good thing this isn't a Foxconn factory.
  • 2 Hide
    rohitbaran , July 19, 2010 8:24 AM
    Picture 6 shows how fast Koreans can develop a region. Magnificent facility. I admire their dedication as much as I can perceive from this virtual tour.
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , July 19, 2010 8:27 AM
    So, Sony working with Samsung (7th picture)! Well, maybe it would be useless to compare LCDs then!
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , July 19, 2010 8:34 AM
    I want one of those 240Hz. refreshing screens!
  • 0 Hide
    amnotanoobie , July 19, 2010 8:45 AM
    rohitbaranSo, Sony working with Samsung (7th picture)! Well, maybe it would be useless to compare LCDs then!


    It's not unusual for them to outsource some of their production to the largest producer of LCD's. Probably though, some of their higher-end or newer models may still be made by Sony itself.
  • 5 Hide
    rohitbaran , July 19, 2010 8:47 AM
    Quote:
    I recall passing one normally illuminated area in which test patterns were examined by lines of technical staff, with the control systems running Windows XP.

    Ha ha. Proves something about XPs popularity, an OS that refuses to die despite its creator's sincere efforts.
  • 1 Hide
    rohitbaran , July 19, 2010 8:50 AM
    BTW, the title of the article should have been "LCD Juggernaut: Tom's Hardware Looks Into Samsung's S(e)oul"
  • 3 Hide
    cmartin011 , July 19, 2010 10:00 AM
    I know who to invest my money in!
  • 2 Hide
    eddieroolz , July 19, 2010 10:03 AM
    Excellent photo article. Was very informative.
  • -6 Hide
    warezme , July 19, 2010 1:18 PM
    Unfortunately, $30 a month is their monthly salary...
  • 5 Hide
    krynn73 , July 19, 2010 2:00 PM
    Quote:
    Unfortunately, $30 a month is their monthly salary...

    At least they are contributing positively to their economy unlike your lazy ass...
  • 6 Hide
    eklipz330 , July 19, 2010 2:20 PM
    "WHAT IS LCD?" -N. Korea
  • 2 Hide
    Pei-chen , July 19, 2010 2:24 PM
    Put more than one picture per page and increase the resolution too. It is really that hard to follow Anandtech and Engadget in adapting a new format for the new century? It is 2010 already.
  • 0 Hide
    7amood , July 19, 2010 2:59 PM
    one word: marvelous
  • 2 Hide
    zodiacfml , July 19, 2010 3:03 PM
    I agree. Why not bigger resolution images in this site that is also easy to navigate, like an image that blows up once clicked?

    Anyways, I read everything and slowly going through each page. Nice trip! Hope to see more from Samsung. (they're now making mirrorless digital cameras too)
  • 4 Hide
    hixbot , July 19, 2010 3:18 PM
    warezme, you have no idea what you are talking about. South Korea is a booming democratic capitalist society. I assure you, they are paid a competitive wage.
  • 2 Hide
    mindless728 , July 19, 2010 3:33 PM
    and i am pretty sure that $30 a month is to pay for living in Samsung's dorms, not their wages per month
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