(Nikkei BP Group)
(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)
| Sony Teams with Candescent, Pluto in Advanced TV Technologies
November 5, 1998 (SAN FRANCISCO) -- Sony Corp. is cooperating with U.S.
venture companies to develop core technologies for thin, flat-panel
computer displays and an MPEG-based multi-channel server for digital
TV production and transmission.
|Sony, which has an extensive presence in the Silicon Valley, is partnering
with U.S. start-up firms in California and elsewhere to advance its
technology in the digital TV arena. Because the television know-how
of tomorrow is so highly specialized, even global innovators like Sony
must find partners to develop new technologies.
The Tokyo-based electronics company is working with Candescent Technologies
Corp. to commercialize high-voltage field emission display (FED) know-how
for flat-panel computer displays. Candescent is based in San Jose, Calif.
Also, its Sony Electronics unit is collaborating with Pluto Technologies
International Inc. to build an MPEG-based multi-channel server for digital
TV systems. Pluto, which is based in Boulder, Colorado, is developing
a non-linear MPEG server system for SDTV operations that is based on
Sony's MPEG technology.
In its work with Candescent, Sony seeks to develop 14-in. and larger
full-color high-voltage FEDs as a flat-screen display format for volume
production before 2001.
The high-voltage FED hardware that Sony and Candescent is developing
is intended to be used to create full-color displays in which each pixel
on the screen produces light separately by an electrical discharge array
(micro-electron gun). Each electrical discharge array utilizes advanced
microchip technology to activate a single picture element (pixel).
Candescent said that this is the same light-generating principle used
by CRTs, and for this reason it is feasible to achieve a similar level
of brightness, viewing angle and response speed.
And, because there is no need for an electron gun or deflection plate,
FED displays can be manufactured using thin and lightweight panel-type
High-voltage FED displays employ technology that can produce a high level
of brightness, and they offer longer life, reduced power consumption
and superior color quality as compared with low-voltage types.
"Candescent is a leading developer of high-voltage FED technology and
we're looking forward to working closely with them to bring this very
promising display technology to market," said Ryosuke Ashiya, senior
vice president of Sony's Display Co.
Candescent said it seeks to become a major supplier of flat panel displays
for notebook computers, communications equipment and consumer products.
Also, Sony Electronics and Pluto Technologies International are collaborating
to develop an MPEG-based multi-channel server for digital TV production
Pluto is developing an MPEG server system for SDTV operation that is
based on Sony's MPEG technology. Shipments are expected to begin in
the second half of 1999.
The new MPEG-based multi-channel server will provide broadcasters and
production facilities with an environment for seamless non-linear editing
and program play-out as part of an end-to-end MPEG broadcast solution
for digital TV transmission. The companies said that users in the production
system will be able to easily handle digital audio-video media on an
MPEG is a digital broadcasting format that facilitates flexible digital
network operations. With its scalability, MPEG handles SDTV multi-channel
operations as well as high-definition TV.
As digital TV rolls out, the demand for MPEG-based broadcast systems
is projected to increase in an industry that requires reasonably priced
solutions for its digital broadcast operations.
"Sony and Pluto both share the goal of providing MPEG products to deliver
the MPEG value proposition for DTV implementation," said Anthony Gargano,
senior vice president of the Communications Systems Division of Sony
Electronics. "Pluto is providing a critical product in the end-to-end
MPEG production systems of the future."
Sony's plans call for its MPEG products to interface directly with Pluto
servers, Gargano said.
"From a total operational point of view, and with consideration to the
emergence of DTV, Sony's philosophy is that MPEG is the solution that
provides the very best quality throughout the production chain," Gargano
(Neil Davis, Asia BizTech Correspondent)
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