Sony invests in OLEDs, sees Blu-ray prevail
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 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.