Canon has announced a joint venture with Toshiba to manufacture a new generation of flat panel television displays. They will focus on surface conduction electron emitter display (SED) panel technology.
Unlike existing LCD technology, SED panels are thinner, consume less energy and do not require backlighting because they produce their own light. The companies expect to produce SED panels in 2005.
Toshiba already sells LCD and plasma display panel televisions. The company announced recently that it will stop making cathode ray tubes for TVs in Japan. Their CRT plant is expected be used to make the new displays.
Canon’s entry into the TV market would have it join newcomer computer makers Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Gateway. Currently the market is led Sharp and Samsung Electronics.
The market for flat-screen televisions is growing fast. Research firm DisplaySearch says some 19 million flat-screen televisions will be sold annually worldwide by 2006, up from 1.4 million units last year.