Canon Inc. and Toshiba Corporation announced today that the two companies have agreed to establish a joint venture in October 2004 for the development, production and marketing of next-generation flat-screen SED (Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display) panels.
The SED, 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 cathode-ray-tube (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 delivers exceptional overall image quality-fast video-response performance, high contrast, high gradation levels-and low power consumption.
Canon began research in the field of SED technology in 1986 and, in 1999, began joint development activities with Toshiba with the aim of commercializing an SED product. In light of the progress realized at this stage of the joint development process, Canon and Toshiba, deeming the timing appropriate, agreed upon the establishment of a joint venture. Plans for the new company call for the commercialization of SED panels primarily for large-screen flat-panel televisions, with production scheduled to begin in 2005. Following the initial launch, a mass-production factory will be readied and production volume will be increased.
The flat-panel TV segment is expected to continue displaying growth within the television market. Additionally, the advent of digital Hi-Vision broadcasting and next-generation DVDs, along with digital cameras and video camcorders, is expected to fuel the spread of high-definition, high-quality next-generation content. Amid these developments, Canon and Toshiba aim to firmly establish SED technology as a new type of flat-panel display ideally suited for the display of next-generation high-definition, high-quality images.
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