TOKYO, July 10 (Reuters) - Sony Corp (6758.T), Toshiba Corp (6502.T) and other Japanese companies will team up with the government to develop key technologies to produce large-size next-generation display panels, the Nikkei business daily reported on Thursday.
The companies, also including Matsushita Electric Industrial Co (6752.T) and Sharp Corp (6753.T), aim to cut development costs by joining hands in the mass-production of organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, the paper said.
Unlike LCDs, OLED panels do not need backlighting, making them slimmer and more energy efficient. But makers need to clear hurdles such as cutting production costs and maximising screen size in order to begin mass-producing OLEDs.
The paper said the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry is to pitch in 3.5 billion yen ($32.78 million) to help with the project, which would run from this year through 2012.
Sony last November started selling the world’s first OLED TVs with an 11-inch screen, while Samsung SDI (006400.KS) said last month it would boost production of active-matrix OLED to six times the current level by mid-2009.
Other participants in the project include Idemitsu Kosan (5019.T), Sumitomo Chemical (4005.T), Dainippon Screen Mfg (7735.T), Shimadzu (7701.T) and Hitachi Zosen (7004.T), the paper said. ($1=106.76 Yen) (Reporting by Sachi Izumi; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)