TOKYO (AP) -- Toshiba Corp. and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. will start making next-generation displays at their joint plant by the second half of 2009, a company spokesman said Tuesday.
Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co., the Japanese electronics makers' joint venture set up in 2002, plans to invest about 15 billion yen ($140 million) to make small and medium-size organic light-emitting diode, or OLED, displays, said company spokesman Toshiyuki Yoshida.
He said the investment was an estimate and details were not yet decided. The investment is in anticipation of a move to the new technology from the now more common liquid crystal displays.
OLEDs use light-emitting organic compounds similar to those found in fireflies. TVs using OLED panels don't require a backlight and can be made thinner than those based on liquid crystal or plasma displays.
The technology is still young, but Japanese manufacturers are eager to get the jump on South Korean manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics Co. and LG Display Co.
The panels being planned at Toshiba and Matsushita's joint venture are for cell phones and mobile devices and won't be used in TVs, Yoshida said. The joint venture is 60 percent owned by Toshiba and 40 percent by Matsushita.
Matsushita makes Panasonic brand products.