Hitachi, Canon, Matsushita Sign LCD Pact

Hitachi, Canon and Matsushita said they have reached a basic agreement on a joint alliance to grow liquid crystal display technologies and improves on others, such as Hitachi’s In-Plane Switching (IPS) that provides enhanced color reproducibility, wide viewing angles and other features. Canon will concentrate in the camera, printer and medical equipment fields, and Matsushita’s Panasonic brand will continue in the flat-panel TV field, notably for HD products.

Canon and Matsushita also will each purchase just under 25 percent of the shares of Hitachi Displays by March 31, subject to regulatory approval. (Hitachi will retain a 50.2 percent stake in Hitachi Displays.)

Besides HD flat screens, LCD panels in various sizes and depths are being applied to mobile phones, computers, digital still cameras, game consoles, printers and automotive electronics. Global demand for LCD panels is therefore rising.

Currently, LCD TV sets outsell plasma and other HD technology products.