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Sony announces plans for high-end EDF monitors for 2009

Field Emisision Technologies plans to produce a line of high-end professional EDF video monitors in 2009, as announced by Norihito Nishimoto, spokesperson for the new company. The monitors will be available in sizes up to 32 inches.

The company has shown several of the various 20-inch FED prototypes at the Ceatec fair in Chiba, Japan.

In 2004, Makoto Kogure (the then president of Sony’s television group) predicted that FED televisions would be just around the corner.

But slow development and advances in other monitor technologies led Sony to park FED technology in favor of LCD and OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Display) screens. This week Sony has presented the world’s first OLED TV, an 11-inch model that will be on sale in Japan during the month of December for an approximate price of 1,000 EUR.

FED technology is similar in some respects to the old CRT (Cahote Ray Tube) technology: phosphor points are excited by electron beams, causing the points to illuminate. But unlike CRTs, which use electrons emitted from a single source and deflected to cover the entire screen, FED technology uses an array of emitters directly on top of the colored pixels.

In addition to consuming less power and producing better colors compared to LCDs, FED technology also supports much higher refresh rates. During Createc, Field Emission Technologies showed an FED screen operating at a rate of 240 frames per second, which is twice what is currently possible with the latest models in Sony’s Bravia line of LCD televisions.

In December 2006, Sony spun off its FED research group under Field Emission Technologies, offering a shareholding package to an investment group that currently owns 64.5 percent of that company.

Field Emission Technologies indicates that FED displays can be produced at a lower cost than LCDs because they do not require a backlight. Additionally, FED displays can use the same controller as an LCD.

The only problem is that Field Emission Technologies does not have a production line for its displays, and the initial cost of the assembly line could increase prices initially, as Nishimoto indicates, who, on the other hand, has declined to comment on the company plans to create a production line.