A Sony affiliate developing a new type of flat display said on Monday it has no plan to compete directly with the LCD or plasma camps, and will instead focus on the niche market for professional-use panels.
Sony established Field Emission Technologies Inc. in December by splitting off its field emission display operations and bringing in a fund focusing on fledgling businesses carved out from major firms to help with these operations.
Field emission displays are said to be energy efficient and have strength in showing moving images. Sony currently focuses on liquid-crystal display TVs and sees organic light-emitting diode panels as promising next-generation displays.
“Our products will be used by professional video creators and at broadcasting companies,” Field Emission Technologies Chief Executive Shohei Hasegawa told a news conference.
“We have a dream of eventually entering the TV market for general consumers. But we will steer clear of heavy capital investments up front.”
Hasegawa said the company aims to decide on the scale of commercial production and find business partners by mid-2008 to put actual products on the market by 2009.
Field emission display (FED) technology was invented in the 1970s as a possible alternative to the traditional cathode-ray tube TV but has never been commercialized, losing out to LCD and plasma displays in the flat panel race.
Canon is working on a technology similar to FED called surface-conduction electron-emitter display (SED).
But sharp price falls in the flat TV market have forced Canon to seek ways to improve its cost-competitiveness and delay the SED TV launch by more than a year to the last quarter of this year, casting a shadow over the product’s commercial feasibility. Shares in Sony closed up 3.9 percent at 6,440 yen, outperforming the Tokyo stock market’s electrical machinery index, which rose 2.09 percent.
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