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Chris Llana, Editor


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More Details on SED TVs Emerge

July 2, 2005

Toshiba and Canon are breaking ground this year on a new $1.7 billion factory that will produce 50" SED television sets beginning in 2007. The operation will be run by their joint venture company, SED Inc., based in Japan.

SED (Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display) is a flat-panel technology that combines the picture quality and wide viewing angles of a direct-view CRT TV with very fast video response and low power consumption. It is being positioned by Toshiba to challenge plasma displays.

SEDs will initially be priced higher than plasma sets, but are also expected to have a better picture (and of course will be the latest hot technology). The first SEDs will be sold in Japan.

Mass production processes are still under development. As with any new technology, start-up production costs will be high. The basic technology, however, holds the potential for low-cost fabrication (using ink-jet and screen-printing for emitters and matrix wiring, and because semi-conductor technologies are not involved, manufacturing can be done without the need to surround the process in special gases or a vacuum).

The latest timetable for SED introduction:

  • August 2005 - trial production & quality control tests begin

  • March 2006 - first sets go on sale in Japan

  • 2006 - production increases to 3,000 units per month

  • January 2007 - production in the new factory starts at 15,000 sets per month

  • December 2007 - production up to 70,000 per month

The projected lifetime for an SED is now about 30,000 hours. At 5 hours per day, the display would last 16 years. Toshiba and Canon hope to add another 10,000 hours to that with further R&D.