TOKYO: Canon Inc plans to form a joint venture with Toshiba Corp to manufacture next-generation displays for thin televisions before rolling out a new flat-screen TV next year.
Canon and Toshiba have conducted research since 1999 on surface conduction electron emitter display (SED) panels, with an eye to eventually co-operating on production.
SED panels are thinner than existing flat panels, consume less energy and – unlike liquid crystal displays (LCD) panels – do not require backlighting because they produce their own light.
The Nihon Keizai newspaper said Canon and Toshiba would set up a 50:50 venture early next year to produce SED panels in 2005.
“The goal is to launch a product but on the road to doing that we need to establish a joint venture to mass produce a product,” said Canon spokesman Richard Berger. “We are hoping to set it up some time next year.”
Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Ohmori said the two sides were having discussions about how to transform the jointly developed technology into a business, but that no details had been decided.
Toshiba already sells LCD and plasma display panel (PDP) TVs. Canon’s entry into the ultra-thin TV market would make it the latest big name to throw its hat into the ring.
Personal computer giant Hewlett-Packard Co said last month it would join rivals Dell Inc and Gateway Inc in the flat-panel television market, dominated by consumer electronics companies Sharp Corp and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd. – Reuters
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