TOKYO Toshiba Corp. will use a former CRT factory for volume production of surface-conduction electron-emitter (SED) displays beginning in January 2007.
Toshiba said Tuesday (May 31) is will use the converted Himeji plant in Hyogo prefecture to produce SED panels, which promise improved picture quality and lower power consumption than LCD panels.
Canon Inc. originally developed the SED panel, and Toshiba has collaborated with Canon since 1999 to develop larger panels for TV screens.
Toshiba and Canon established a joint venture last October called SED Inc. to manufacture SED products. Canon holds a 50.002-percent share, and Toshiba holds the rest. Pilot production is scheduled to begin in August, with a startup capacity of 3,000 units a month at Canon's Hiratsuka plant. The first panels measure 50 inches on a diagonal.
Toshiba moved its CRT production from the Himeji plant to a Chinese joint venture in Dalian, China, and the CRT production line in Japan was closed. Toshiba, Canon and SED Inc. will reconfigure the building and install new SED production equipment. During the next two years, the partners plan to invest a total ¥180 billion (about $1.7 billion) in SED production.
The new production line will begin operating in January 2007 with the startup capacity of 15,000 panels a month. Capacity is expected to expand to 70,000 panels a month during 2007.