Shinoda Plasma Corp. is a a venture company established by Tsutae (tsu-ta-e) Shinoda. Shinoda-san is a former Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. fellow and is known as the inventor of PDP. Shinoda Plasma enveiled a prototype PDP with a 100 x 50cm display, which is about 43″ diagonal with a pixel pitch of just 3mm. Shinoda-san explained that the panel was brought directly from the laboratory. Film-form electrodes sandwich plasma tubes, which is a glass tube with a 1mm diameter. Discharge gas and RGB fluorescent materials are inside the plasma tube and the plasma tube is lined sideways. There are three remarkable features of the prototype 43″ PDP: a thickness of just 1mm, the weight is just 800g and it is flexible. In addition, Shinoda-san stated that these displays can be seamlessly combined to form 1 x 2m and 2 x 3m displays aimed at applications that have not been served yet due to display limitations such as thickness, weight and rigidity. He mentioned “making an entire tunnel wall into a display or bonding a display to a ceiling…”
So this is the technology that will allow the dream of having a display wall come true! Most technology prototypes have a inherent limit and that is cost but Shinoda claimed that the manufacturing process of this special PDP does not require the clean rooms for current displays nor the mammoth sized plants required to manufacture large LCDs and PDPs. Shinoba Plasma has a plant located in Kobe and will be “creating large items at small factories.”
Update 2007.10.29 Shinoda Plasma Corp. announced that it will begin volume production of its Plasma Tube Array (PTA) display in the second half of 2008. The company will initially provide a 3 x 2 meter (3.6 meter diagonal, 1″ = 2.54 cm, 141.95″) module to display set manufacturers. The module is expected to be priced at “several tens of million yen,” said Tsutae Shinoda, president of the company and legendary father of the plasma display panel itself. Assuming a base price of Â¥10,000,000, that would be equivalent to about $87,000, at least. Expensive! The announcement was made at a press conference that took place in Shinoda Plasma’s headquarters in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture in Japan Oct 26, 2007. The company will start installing mass production facilities at its plant (site area: 4,000 m2, floor area: 1,500 m2) located in the same area as its Kobe headquarters in fiscal 2007, which I think means calendary 2008. The maximum annual output of the plant is expected to be 200 units of its 3 x 2 meter module. Due to what I have read prior, the financial investment necessary for this type of volume manufacturing capability is substantially less than comparable LCD or PDP plants. Shinoda stated that CAPEX is “an order of magnitude lower than what would be invested in an LCD or PDP panel plant with the equivalent production scale.” So why the high price? The company expects the shipment of about 10 units in fiscal 2008 and about 100 units in fiscal 2009. “First of all, we are aiming at sales of Â¥10 billion (US$87 million) in the initial phase,” Shinoda said. The 3 x 2 meter module weighs 60kg, with a power consumption of 1,200 W when operated at a luminance of 1,000 cd/m2. It has a pixel pitch of 3mm and supports the 720p HDTV resolution. The full On/Off contrast ratio is 10,000:1. The module is composed of a “sub module,” which is obtained by incorporating a data driver IC in a film-type display unit, combined with a drive circuit and other components. The 1 Ã— 1m sub module and the drive circuit are provided separately in the actual shipment in consideration for the convenience of transportation to the installation site, where the module can be assembled by attaching six pieces of 1 Ã— 1m sub modules and combining them with the drive circuit. Each sub module weighs less than 7 kg. The PTA technology was developed by Shinoda when he was working as a fellow at Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. It has a structure in which an array of “plasma tubes” is sandwiched by upper and lower film electrodes. The plasma tube is a 1mm diameter glass tube containing a discharge gas and fluorescent materials for R, G and B colors, etc. The module has a pixel pitch of 3mm because of the layout composed of plasma tubes for R, G and B colors arranged laterally. While the principle of light emission is similar to that of PDP, it features a lighter weight thanks to the adoption of a film substrate.