* Panasonic, Sumitomo in ties to develop super-thin TV panels
* Panasonic shares down 0.7 pct vs Nikkei's 0.1 pct slide
TOKYO May 8 Japan's Panasonic Corp (6752.T) said
it was developing advanced display panels based on organic
light-emitting diode (OLED) technology with Sumitomo Chemical Co
(4005.T), in a bid to stay in the race in the next-generation TV
OLED panels consume less energy than other panels and make
light, thin displays with sharp pictures.
In 2007, Sony Corp (6758.T) launched the world's first OLED
TV, with a thickness of 3 mm. But the high manufacturing costs
and small display size have prevented these TVs from seriously
threatening LCD and plasma models.
Panasonic said it was also cooperating with other partners to
develop OLED technology, though it didn't name any companies.
The maker of Viera-brand flat TVs said it had made no
decisions on the commercialisation of OLED-based products.
The Nikkei business daily said Panasonic and Sumitomo
Chemical were aiming to set up a joint venture to develop and
manufacture 40-inch or bigger OLED panels by 2010.
Sony currently offers 11-inch OLED TVs.
Shares in Panasonic were down 0.7 percent at 1,500 yen,
underperforming the Nikkei average .N225, which was virtually
unchanged. Sumitomo Chemical was down 0.7 percent at 418 yen.
(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka)