It was meant to be the display technology to beat them all, but SED is now dead in the water. Proponents Toshiba and Canon have conceded to the inevitable and issued a statement confirming that SED will not become a commercial proposition anytime soon. Canon says that it is now unable to produce SED panels “to the original schedule” and Toshiba has concluded that rapid price erosion in the flat-panel market makes SED production uneconomic: “The prices of flat panels are declining more rapidly than expected,” it declared in a statement.
Despite being critically lauded, SED has been beset with problems, and most recently was dealt a body blow in its legal wrangle with Nano Technology, which forced Toshiba to walk away from its partnership with Canon.
The news will not come as a surprise to Philips’ head of Product Marketing and Strategy for flat TV, Danny Tack. Back in June 2006, he predicted the system’s demise: “Too many PDP factories have been built, too much money has been invested. And even more has been invested in LCD,” he said. “Put the same content on plasma, LCD and SED next to each other, and I would think SED will give the best performance. It’s a great technology, but there have been many good technologies that have never survived.”