SED stands for Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display. SED has the potential to become a serious threat to LCD, PDP (Plasma Display Panel), and OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) technologies. Why? SED prototypes that have been shown have color that is as good as the best CRT (Cathode Ray Tube) TVs while maintaining a thin profile as thin as LCD and PDP TVs.
Canon and Toshiba were developing the technology when Applied Nanotech filed a suit against Canon in April 2005. Canon licensed critical SED patents from Applied Nanotech and then created a joint venture with Toshiba to add manufacturing capability. Applied Nanotech sued Canon because the SED patents did not cover a joint venture with Toshiba. In May 2007, Canon lost and SED R&D work stopped. At that time Canon was forced to buy out Toshiba’s share of the joint venture. Video after the break.
Fast forward to July 2008. An appeals court reversed the May 2007 ruling on a technicality and Applied Nanotech has just decided that it will not appeal to the US Supreme Court. Douglas Baker, Applied Nanotech’s CFO stated, “It would probably be a futile effort.” Now Canon has the green light to continue its R&D and commercialize SED technology. Canon is working on a new production process that brings the cost of manufacturing of SEDs competitive with LCDs according to Tsuneji Uchida, Canon’s President.
Don’t hold your breath. “At times like this, new display products are not introduced much because people would laugh at them,” said Uchida. That would imply that Canon will not be bringing SED TVs anytime soon. However, CES 2009 is just around the corner and people expect new display products at the show and would cheer (not laugh) at a SED TV prototype by Canon.
Take a look at the video (it takes a bit to get going):
Source: Finantial Times UK
[tags]SED, Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display, SED TV, Canon, Toshiba, Applied Nanotech[/tags]