Sanyo, Kodak to develop flat-display panel equipment

OSAKA — Japan’s Sanyo Electric Co. and Eastman Kodak Co. of the United States said Tuesday they have agreed with another Japanese manufacturer to jointly develop equipment for the manufacture of next-generation flat-display panels.

Under the tripartite deal, Sanyo and ULVAC Japan Ltd. will jointly develop by the end of this year manufacturing equipment for color displays suitable for digital cameras, cellular phones and other small appliances.

Sanyo plans to start by March 2002 mass production of the product, called an organic EL panel display, which has been developed by Kodak, holder of the basic patent for the new technology.

Kodak and Sanyo teamed up in February 1999 to develop and produce the display, which features low power consumption, high brightness, thin design and extended usable hours.

It comprises luminous pixels, called organic EL, that require no backlighting and is expected to replace conventional liquid crystal displays in small appliances.