"Shinoda Plasma Corp., a venture company established by former Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. fellow Tsutae Shinoda, who is known as the inventor of PDP, disclosed a prototype display it is currently developing in a special session dubbed "Forecast: The Digital Industry 2007 to 2020" on Oct. 3, 2007.
Partly because this was the display's public debut, visitors showed strong interest in it, with many taking photos of the prototype with their digital cameras.
Unveiled for the first time was a 100 x 50 cm display equivalent to a 43-inch panel. It has a pixel pitch of 3 mm. After Shinoda explained that the panel was "brought directly from our laboratory," the display attached to a large device emerged from the side of the stage.
This display is made of "plasma tubes" aligned and sandwiched between film-form electrodes. A plasma tube is a glass tube 1 mm in diameter that seals discharge gas and RGB fluorescent materials, etc., inside itself. The pixel pitch is 3 mm because the RGB plasma tubes are lined sideways.
Although it is based on the same light-emitting theory as existing PDP technology, this display can be made much slimmer and lighter than PDP panels. The 43-inch display was only 1 mm thick and weighed 800 g, according to Shinoda. He demonstrated the display's flexibility by bending part of the display while it was displaying images.
Shinoda also referred to future prospects for the display. "Another key feature of the display is that it can be seamlessly combined. When mass-producing it, we will produce large displays by combining base units, each of which measures 1 x 1 m." In this manner, the company aims to realize large displays with dimensions like 1 x 2 m and 2 x 3 m.
He also referred to expected uses, aiming at applications that make the most of the display's characteristics, such as its slimness, light weight and potential to be made larger.
"We are considering locating the displays in places where it has been difficult to set up a display, such as making an entire tunnel wall into a display or bonding a display to a ceiling, for example," said Shinoda.
Furthermore, Shinoda mentioned that the display is superior to other existing displays, such as LCD and PDP panels in terms of cost competitiveness.
"Since it doesn't need the clean room required to manufacture existing displays, it is possible to lower manufacturing costs and make manufacturing plants very small," Shinoda said.
As Shinoda Plasma's plant in Kobe is not very large, many visitors were surprised and asked if the company really could produce large displays at such a small site. Shinoda explained the company's development system using the symbolic expression "creating large items (displays) at small factories."