Panasonic considers plasma TV halt

Panasonic is weighing whether to cease research and development into plasma-based TV displays by March, sources said Monday.

Instead, Panasonic Corp. will focus on developing organic electroluminescence or other types of panel technologies considered more promising for flat-panel TVs in the future, the sources said. But Panasonic will continue plasma panel display production for the time being for TVs and industrial-use displays, they said.

Panasonic’s previous strategy was to incorporate plasma display panels in large-screen TVs while using liquid crystal displays for small and midsize units. But the company is moving to limit investment in plasma displays in the face of technological innovations in LCD units, they said.

Panasonic’s plasma display operations are focused mainly at its factory in Ibaraki, Osaka Prefecture. It has already consolidated production bases for plasma displays into a plant in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, where it has concentrated on the manufacturing of plasma panels for industrial-use displays.