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Quote from EETasia.com

Canon, Toshiba form join venture for flat-screen SED panels

Posted : 17 Sep 2004

Canon and Toshiba will begin operating a long-rumored joint venture company next month to develop and produce next-generation flat-screen SED (surface-conduction electron-emitter display) panels for large-screen, flat-panel TV receivers.

The joint venture, to be called SED Inc., will require ¥1 billion ($9 million) in funding, split roughly 50-50 between both Canon and Toshiba. SED will be located in Hiratsuka City, Kanagawa and be headed by Shunichi Uzawa, currently director and group executive of SED Development for Canon.

Expected to initially employ 300 workers, the plant will begin producing SED technology panels in early 2005, with a new plant constructed to allow mass production.

SEDs, based on a new type of flat-panel display technology, was created through the merging of Canon's proprietary electron-emission and microfabrication technologies with Toshiba's CRT technology and mass-production technologies for liquid crystal displays and semiconductors.

Like conventional CRT televisions, the SED utilizes the collision of electrons with a phosphor-coated screen to emit light. Electron emitters, which correspond to an electron gun in a CRT television, are distributed in an amount equal to the number of pixels on the display.

In addition to high brightness and high definition, the SED is said to deliver exceptional overall image quality, fast video-response performance, high contrast, high gradation levels, and low power consumption.

The joint venture between Canon and Toshiba has been in the works for years. Canon began researching SED technology in 1986 and, in 1999, began joint development activities with Toshiba to commercialize an SED product.

Last December, both companies announced they were finalizing preparations for the joint venture. Both companies demonstrated prototype SED displays at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year.

Canon expanded its advanced display technology portfolio last month when it purchased the field-emission-display (FED) patents of defunct Candescent Technologies Corp., with the intent of applying the FED IP to its SED technology.

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