Canon and Toshiba are to establish a joint venture to manufacture flat-screen panels that boast an energy consumption roughly one-half that of large-screen CRTs and about one-third of plasma display panels.
The (Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display) SED panels they will build will be based on a new type of flat-panel display technology created through the merging of Canon’s proprietary electron-emission and microfabrication technologies with Toshiba’s cathode-ray-tube (CRT) technology.
The SED itself consists of a glass plate with electron emitters fabricated on it. Positioned next to it is another glass plate coated with a fluorescent substance. Between the two glass plates is a vacuum. Application of a voltage in the narrow slit between the two panels creates a tunnelling effect that causes electrons to be emitted. Some of these electrons are accelerated by the voltage applied between the glass plates and collide with the fluorescent-coated glass plate, causing light to be emitted.
Since it is a spontaneous light display similar to a CRT, it maintains levels of brightness and colour performance, as well as a wide angle of visibility, on a par with a CRT. Larger screens can be produced by simply increasing the number of electron emitters in accordance with the required number of pixels. Unlike CRTs, however, SEDs do not need electronic-beam deflection. As a result, it’s possible to create wall-mounted large-screen TV displays that are only several centimetres thick.
Production of the SED panels, which will be aimed at the television market, is slated to begin in this year. Following the initial launch, a factory to mass produce the panels will be built and production volumes ramped.