Saturday, May 26, 2007

SED Postponed, bad news for an emergent display technology

This is a bit of a setback:

TWICE: SED Postponed Indefinitely
Tokyo — Toshiba and Canon sent out official notices Friday that they have postponed the launch of surface-conduction electron-emitter display (SED) TVs, which were originally planned to launch in the fourth quarter of 2007.
In a statement, Toshiba said “the decision is based on information provided by Canon, indicating that Canon will not be able to provide SED panels to the original schedule.”
Canon said Friday that “prices of flat panels are declining more rapidly than expected.” The company said it has to institute new production techniques to improve mass production efficiency.
Both Canon and Toshiba said they could not give a specific timeframe for the launch of SED TVs at this time.

This isn't the first time that a nascent display technology has had hiccups in it's development. LCOS (Liquid Crystal On Silicon) was proudly trumpeted, and then quietly dumped by Toshiba, Hitachi, Hewlett Packard, and a couple of others because of manufacturing problems, before finally becoming a viable technology. I wouldn't write off surface-conduction electron-emitter displays just yet (for one thing, I think that they're neat!), but if it becomes a breakout technology, it's not going to be this year.

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