Sony, Sharp, Philips to build 40-inch plasma displays

Philips Electronics will work with Sony and Sharp on developing plasma-addressed liquid crystal (PALC) technology, which aims to simplify the manufacturing of 20- to 50-inch flat panel displays for use in the TV and computer industries. PALC advocates claim that the technology separately addresses each pixel in a display to create brighter, higher contrast, and more distinct images ideal for wall-mounted TVs and computer displays

Philips Electronics will work with Sony and Sharp on developing plasma-addressed liquid crystal (PALC) technology, which aims to simplify the manufacturing of 20- to 50-inch flat panel displays for use in the TV and computer industries.

Since last September, Sony and Sharp have been working together on developing PALC screens - a mixture of liquid crystal display and plasma technology. PALC advocates claim that the technology separately addresses each pixel in a display to create brighter, higher contrast, and more distinct images.

The companies, which are making equal contributions to the development of the PALC technology licensed from Tektronix Inc., expect to show off an initial 40-inch prototype by the end of 1997, before unveiling a higher resolution version towards the end of 1998. The technology will be used to build large format screens for wall mount televisions and computer displays.

The development of 40-inch displays using plasma technology has taken off in the past two years as major electronics companies such as Fujitsu and NEC race to develop and manufacture the screens.

Sharp, the world leader in thin film transistor LCD displays used in notebook computers, will bring its wide angle viewing expertise to the venture, while Philips will be tapped for its high-aperture, high resolution technology, Sony said. Philips' research on heightening image resolution cuts down on a screen's energy consumption and provides a sharper picture, a Philips' spokesman said.

As the project is still squarely in the research stage the companies have made no decisions on whether, when or how to manufacture the screens, a Philips spokesman said.

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