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Japanese OLED TV Cooperative Planned

Tokyo — Sony and a group of Japanese manufacturers including Toshiba and Matsushita said they plan to work jointly on the development of mass-producible large-sized OLED panels for TVs, according to a Reuters report Thursday.

Although details of the collaboration were to be announced later, Sony said it would join other firms, including joint ventures with Toshiba and Matsushita Electric Industrial, in the project, which is being initiated by the Japanese government.

Key goals of the project are to establish basic technologies needed to mass produce energy-saving, high-definition OLED displays with screen sizes measuring 40 inches and larger.

Sony currently markets an 11-inch OLED TV set, but the technology remains expensive to produce and difficult to manufacturer in volume for larger screen sizes.

The OLED technology produces very thin panels, with exceptionally high brightness, contrast and color performance compared with current LCD and plasma displays. Because the technology does not require backlighting it enables thinner and more energy-efficient designs.

Reuters cited a Nikkei business daily report that the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will contribute 3.5 billion yen ($33 million) to start the project, which is slated to run this year through 2012.

Other companies named in the project so far include Idemitsu Kosan and Sumitomo Chemical.