Pioneer to stop making 42-inch plasma panels, reports Reuters

February 27, 2008

TOKYO (Reuters) – Pioneer Corp will stop making 42-inch plasma panels and instead buy panels in that size and smaller from Panasonic maker Matsushita Electric Industrial or Hitachi Ltd to turn around its loss-making flat TV business, the Asahi newspaper said. Japanese consumer and auto electronics maker Pioneer will end output of such panels at a plant in Kagoshima prefecture in southern Japan as early as by March 2009, the paper said in the report on Saturday. It will focus on making panels 50 inches or larger at other plants, the Asahi said. It would be Pioneer’s latest step away from a vertically integrated business model, in which manufacturers conduct production of key parts as well as assembly of finished products, after its decision last year to buy liquid crystal display panels from Sharp Corp to start offering LCD TVs.

Pioneer’s plasma business has been struggling to compete with larger rivals with better production efficiency such as Matsushita and LG Electronics Inc Pioneer has a target to sell 480,000 plasma TVs in this business year, ending on March 31, less than one-tenth of Matsushita’s sales target of 5 million units. Pioneer bought the Kagoshima plant from NEC Corp and now wants NEC to buy it back, the Asahi said. A Pioneer spokesman said its flat TV strategy will become available when it unveils a mid-term business plan in early March, but nothing specific has been decided. Shares in Pioneer were up 3.8 percent by early afternoon, outperforming the Tokyo stock market’s electrical machinery index IELEC, which rose 2.2 percent. (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka, Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Michael Watson)

Original article here


Hyundai Motor applies in-car dual display monitor to Grandeur

February 26, 2008

Hyundai announce dual-view dashboard LCD monitor

Hyundai Motor announced that it completed the development of its in-dash dual LCD monitor which can display two different pictures simultaneously based on one the viewer angle. This means the driver can see the navigation while at the same time the passenger watches a DVD movie. According to the company, the newly developed monitor will be applied to Grandeur.

By Grace Won 2008-02-20
Via AVING


Southern Electronics sets new visitor record

February 25, 2008

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Statistics released today show the Southern Electronics show (February 6th-7th 2008, FIVE, Farnborough) proved a resounding hit with those involved in electronics, component sourcing or electronic assembly. Nearly 4,400 industry professionals visited Farnborough over the two-day event – a significant increase over previous years. Visitor interest in areas related to production and quality rose dramatically, with increases of over 120% in some areas.

The relocation to FIVE, Farnborough, with its improved facilities and 25% increase in exhibition space, allowed more companies than ever to take part in the show. Virtually every aspect of electronics manufacture and sub-contracting was well represented, drawing an enthusiastic response from exhibitors and visitors alike.

Robert Crosby-Clarke, UK sales manager of Electrolube, said “After visiting the Southern Electronics show last year and seeing how it had expanded, we thought we would give it a go. The show was very busy and there was considerable interest in our range. We have already taken the decision to exhibit again next year.” 

Detailed statistics from the show reveal significant growth in the electronics-related interests of visitors such as electronic assembly, components and adhesives. Small companies of between 1 and 20 employees remained the largest single group of visitors at around 20%, but there was also an increase in visitors from businesses of between 51 and 200 employees, to around 14%, indicating increasing interest being shown in regional events by medium sized enterprises. But the largest increase was in visitor interest in goods and services related to production and quality. The percentage of visitors interested in Assembly Systems, Automation, Industrial Computing, Inspection Systems and Manufacturing Software more than doubled on 2007 figures. The statistics provide objective evidence reflecting the upbeat mood of the event, and shows that the business sentiment for electronics SMEs is far from pessimistic.

Southern Electronics is just one of a number of regional industrial events run by European Trade & Exhibition Services around the UK and Eire. Managing director, Phil Valentine, believes that, while support for national trade exhibitions is waning, interest in regional events is stronger than ever. “The trend in society as a whole is towards the local sourcing of suppliers and services. What we are doing with our regional shows is essentially just the same: We provide a unique and cost-effective way for companies to market their goods and services right on the doorstep of their prospective customers. The growth in visitor numbers this year indicates that people are increasingly in favour of highly-focussed regional events rather than committing precious time and resources to visiting or exhibiting at national trade shows.” 

The next regional exhibition in the calendar, Midlands Manufacturing Technology, opens its doors at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on March 18th and 19th. Many of the companies participating in the Southern shows will also be at the Midlands event, making it a great opportunity to catch-up with the very latest components, technologies and services. Entry to the show and its popular seminar programme is free, and there is plentiful parking on site. Ricoh Stadium is just 4 miles north of Coventry City centre and enjoys excellent access by road and rail, and by air via Coventry Executive and Birmingham International Airports. For more information, call 01784 880890 or visit http://www.industry.co.uk/midlands


Sony’s Policy Shift Poses Threat to Samsung TV Biz

February 25, 2008

Despite strong denial by Samsung Electronics over its strategic tie-up with Sony in the liquid crystal display (LCD) business, the South Korean electronics giant is facing a crisis under an aggressive attack from Japanese rivals.

On Monday, Samsung clarified that the company will continue its strategic partnership with Sony and sees no problem with ongoing talks with the Japanese panel manufacturer to jointly invest in the second phase of eighth generation LCDs in Tangjeong, South Chungcheong Province.

“For now, we don’t have any plans to cut our partnership with Sony. Sony still buys some 50 percent of its LCD panel demand through a joint venture with Samsung,’’ Lee Sang-wan, chief of Samsung Electronics LCD business, told The Korea Times on the sidelines of a Korea Display Industry Association meeting held in southern Seoul.

“I am positive about the ongoing talks with Sony over the Japanese players’ possible involvement in the second phase of eighth generation LCDs,” he added.

Samsung Electronics and Sony established the joint LCD maker S-LCD in the South Korean province with an investment of 2 trillion won in 2003. The two have been enjoying a honeymoon phase since then, with Samsung buying half of S-LCD’s output and Sony the other half.

Lee’s comment comes after Sony reportedly said it is inclined to buy television LCD panels from its local rival Sharp starting as early as this year in a bid to diversify its procurement channels to meet rising demand and cost cuts.

Sharp will provide the latest 10th generation panels to produce highly-competitive 40 inch level displays that will be produced at its plant in Sakai, Osaka prefecture, which is slated to start operating this year.

Like Sony, Japanese manufacturers are busy shying away from their vertical integration strategies to succeed in the global sales battle and to regain their past glory in the global LCD market.

Despite undeniable strong edges in original technologies, Japanese players have failed to maintain their dominant positions in the segment mainly because of a passive attitude towards massive investments unlike Samsung Electronics.

Panasonic, which has recently announced a plan to build a new manufacturing plant for LCD panels in Hyogo prefecture to curtail a plasma display-centered business, has been strengthening a three-way partnership with Hitachi and Canon.

Experts and industry sources say the fight among the world’s leading LCD TV makers has entered the second round with the panel procurement deals between Japanese firms now in place amid management vacuum in Samsung Electronics _ the world’s No. 1 LCD maker.

Top executives of Samsung Electronics are currently busy soothing investors’ worries over the deepening Samsung Group-involved bribery scandal. The group’s key flagship unit has postponed holding several strategic meetings to finalize its detailed investment plans for this year.

“Japanese rivals believe this is a good chance to surge ahead of Samsung in the sector,’’ a Samsung official said.

“Possibilities have risen to buy LCD panels from Samsung Electronics or the opposite,’’ an official from the LG.Philips LCD added.

A recent data from DisplaySearch, a market-research firm, has shown that Sony overtook Samsung Electronics as the world’s biggest manufacturer of LCD televisions with 19.5 percent of the global market share in the fourth quarter, while Samsung followed with 19.3 percent in the same period. Sharp was surveyed as No. 4 with some 10 percent of share.

According to industry estimates, global demand for LCD TVs will reach 155 million units in five years, up from 74.8 million in 2007, driven by strong sales in China and the United States.

By Kim Yoo-chul
Staff Reporter

As reported in Korea Times

yckim@koreatimes.co.kr


Mitsubishi uses multiple cameras to enhance HD video

February 24, 2008

Mitsubishi Electric has reportedly developed an innovative technique, which increases the resolution of HD video, by combining shots from multiple cameras into one super HD stream. According to some reports, Mitsubishi is believed to be currently testing the technology at its research facility in Tokyo, using five video cameras capable of shooting high-quality images.These are linked to computers with 3D graphics processors, which process the raw data. The camera images are analysed for differences and the input is mashed together to form a composite video, giving a substantially higher resolution. Using five cameras and five PCs in this way produces video with four times the resolution of normal HD TV and it takes just 0.15 seconds to process and deliver the data.

Sources at Mitsubishi allegedly claim the new system delivers video of as high a quality as that produced by commercial digital cinema. The technology could be used in surveillance systems and possibly in live TV broadcasts.

Original story – http://www.techradar.com/news/home-cinema/high-definition/cameras-combine-to-create-super-hd-tv-244678


Sony invests in OLEDs, sees Blu-ray prevail

February 22, 2008
Sony is to invest more than $200 million to develop OLED displays, while nitride-based laser production could get a boost from Blu-ray’s success against HD-DVD.
Sony Corporation has unveiled plans to invest approximately 22 billion yen (about $203 million) to strengthen middle and large size OLED (organic light-emitting diode) panel production technology. With this investment, Sony says it intends to accelerate the shift to middle and large size, high-image-quality OLED panels.Sony began researching OLED technology in 1994, and has since positioned OLED as a future next-generation display technology. In December 2007, Sony launched the world’s first OLED TV, “XEL-1” in Japan, incorporating Sony’s proprietary “Organic Panel” to realize extreme thinness and superb image quality through a high contrast ratio, high peak brightness, accurate color reproduction and rapid response time (see Sony begins selling world’s first OLED TV).

In order to advance the shift towards middle and large size, high image quality OLED panels, Sony has decided to invest from the second half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2009 towards the further development of production technologies.

Sony will reinforce its TFT (thin film transistor) and EL (electroluminescent) layer coating processing facilities at Sony Mobile Display Corporation’s Higashiura factory, and plans to implement this production technology during the fiscal year ending March 31, 2010.

Sony says that it plans to continue to advance the development of OLED panels, positioning the OLED panel as a new device capable of expanding the future potential of televisions and other AV products.

A recent report from Frost & Sullivan estimated that the OLED display market earned revenues of $475.0 million in 2006, and that this will increase to $1.4 billion in 2013.

Blu-ray prevails in DVD format war

Sony’s Blu-ray Disc high-definition format has finally prevailed as the replacement for DVD after Toshiba announced that it would discontinue production of rival HD-DVD products.

Both formats use violet semiconductor lasers manufactured using the same indium gallium nitride (InGaN) material system that is used to make blue, green and white (phosphor-converted) LEDs.

Violet lasers were developed by Nichia, the world’s largest LED maker. However, most of the lasers used by Sony in its Blu-ray players, including the PlayStation 3 games console, are manufactured by Sony, which has a licensing agreement with Nichia.

From LEDs Magazine


New Mitsubishi product range benefits display integrators

February 20, 2008

Mitsubishi Electric has significantly expanded its offering to Systems Integrators with the launch of the brand-new new 3000 series Display Wall sub-system at ISE 2008. The perfect complement to its market-leading range of DLP projection cubes, the new family of modular display wall processors enables integrators to create very sophisticated display systems quickly and easily, without having to worry about compatibility or interfacing issues. Using the new sub-system, commissioning costs and project timescales can be drastically reduced without compromising performance, reliability or sophistication.

The hardware element of the new system consists of the VC-X3000 Display Wall processor and the VC-MK3000 synchronous graphics insertion processor. Both units can be used as standalone processors or in combination to create a powerful hybrid system capable of handling synchronous live video, DVI-I/VGA and data inputs in real time. The processing sub-system is complemented by the new D-Wall software suite, which brings together processing and hardware control into a single integrated environment, and allows extremely sophisticated display systems to be created virtually straight from the box.

The X3000 Display Wall Processor is a high-performance display wall processor designed for demanding control room or large-scale visualisation applications. A standard chassis is capable of routing 48 video inputs and 12 DVI/VGA inputs across 24 different outputs. The system is expandable up to 128 video inputs, 62 DVI/VGA input capture channel and 64 output channels via optional expansion modules. The X3000 can also accept multiple network inputs and is capable of servicing multiple client control stations and applications simultaneously. The D-Wall software provides separate colour-coded mouse cursors that allow up to ten operators to interact with applications on the display wall. Like all Mitsubishi hardware, build quality and reliability are of paramount importance. Based on a Intel™ Xeon dual core processor, the standard chassis comes with 1GB of RAM and 80GB HDD with hot-swappable backup, both of which are expandable. Redundant PSU, fans and RAID disk controller help ensure 24/7 reliability in critical control room applications.

The VC-MK3000 graphics insertion processor provides real-time, synchronous overlay of video and DVI-I/VGA sources and is designed for high-performance applications such as control rooms and C3i facilities. Sync in/out and gen-lock also make it ideal for TV studio applications. 9.6 GB input bandwidth is shared between 32 video or DVI-I inputs, allocated at 0.3 GB per channel. 16 user-configurable outputs provide a flexible combination of overlays and screens. Auxiliary base layer inputs enable additional software applications to share the VC-MK3000 desktop for maximum flexibility. Up to 10 VC-MK3000s can be cascaded together to provide hundreds of input sources.

Mitsubishi’s new D-Wall software suite unifies X3000 and MK3000 processors in a single, powerful control architecture spanning both applications and display hardware. D-Wall allows direct control of display wall settings such as brightness and lamp modes, as well monitoring parameters such as lamp hours. The software automatically warns operators via email should a hardware alert condition arise. Using D-Wall, complex wall layouts can be created easily by simply dragging and dropping inputs from whichever X3000 and MK3000 processors are attached to the system – either singly or in combination. Layouts can then be saved for instant recall. This intuitive software environment significantly speeds-up the commissioning process by making the physical integration of different sources completely transparent to the operator. The unified software environment also allows total flexibility to upgrade or modify the physical layer to meet future demands on the system. D-Wall can be used with a standard touch panel control to simplify the operation of complex display wall systems and reduce the chances of operator error. D-Wall can also respond to system events by switching to pre-programmed display layouts which automatically give prominence to the window generating the alert message, thereby reducing the risk of an alert going unnoticed.

Mitsubishi Electric’s new display wall sub-system underlines the company’s commitment to System Integrators. With the launch of this significant new range of products, Mitsubishi continues to place the highly-valued relationships it enjoys with its Systems Integrator partners at the heart of its strategy for professional display products.