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Canon, Toshiba Begin SED Operation

9/16/2004 08:15:00 AM Eastern

Tokyo — Toshiba and Canon solidified their previously announced plans to co-develop a new flat-panel television technology called Surface-conductor Electron-emitter display (SED) by jointly investing $1.82 billion in a new joint venture company.

The companies, which will equally split the investment cost, said they expect to produce the first SED displays for market by August 2005. The new company – which is called SED, Inc. – will be 50.002-percent owned by Canon, with Toshiba holding the rest.

Each company will market SED TVs under their own brands, giving Canon its first presence in the flat-panel television category.

For the first two years, Toshiba is to produce finished TVs for Canon under an OEM arrangement, after which Canon will produce its own products using newly developed components. The company will also consider selling panels to other manufacturers on an OEM basis, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

SED technology will initially allow production of flat-panel televisions — similar in configuration to plasma and LCD TV panels — with screen sizes up to 50W-inches that consume less power while producing brightness and color levels rivaling those of cathode-ray tube (CRT) products.

The companies said they expect SED, Inc. to become profitable by 2010.