Panasonic Gears Up To Make Next-Gen TV Displays
By Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer
Manufacturing.Net - July 29, 2008
TOKYO (AP) -- Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. will begin test production of next-generation displays for TVs next year with plans for commercial output as early as 2011, Japan's top business newspaper reported Tuesday.
Competition is heating up among the world's electronics makers, including Japanese rival Sony Corp. and Samsung Electronics Co. of South Korea, in OLED, or organic light-emitting diode, displays.
Matsushita has already said OLED technology is in the works at its planned display plant in Japan -- the company's second here -- which will mainly make liquid crystal displays already common in flat-panel TVs.
The Osaka-based maker of Panasonic brand products has invested 300 billion yen ($2.8 billion) in the plant set to be running by 2010. The Nikkei daily reported test lines will begin early next year with mass production of 40-inch panels likely by 2011.
Matsushita spokesman Akira Kadota confirmed the company was working on OLED development at the plant, but said details weren't decided.
OLED technology uses materials that emit light on their own and don't require a back light.
OLED displays are thinner, use less energy than current technology, and have high video display quality.
Sony has had an 11-inch OLED TV on sale since December 2007. Samsung showed a 31-inch OLED TV at a consumer electronics show earlier this year in Las Vegas.
Earlier this month, the Japanese government said it will support Sony, Sharp Corp., Matsushita and other domestic companies in joint development of OLED displays, with the plan to develop a 40-inch OLED display sometime after 2015.