MicroDisplay Ceases Plasma Production

Fears over how low price points on HD plasma units might go in the coming year has led to an abrupt halt in production plans by MicroDisplay Corp., which had been planning to mass-produce 1080p, LCoS-based rear-projection units.

The firm was caught in the middle of new concerns cropping up this spring and summer at the retail level. The concern was that plasma prices on units 50 inches and larger might drop once again in time for the late-fall holiday season, according to published reports.

The rising uncertainty over plasma prices overall became far more apparent between April and June, according to MicroDisplay, and the company said it plans to close shop this week.

However, the company said there appears to be a lot of interest by other manufacturers in sharing in the intellectual property, so the Texas Instruments-invented LCoS DLP format for HD sets likely will continue to be rolled out in the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, MicroDisplay said retailers likely will remain leery about how to price such LCoS products for the traditionally big fourth quarter, where price points by year’s end could be crucial to its long-term success.