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Sony Corporation today announced the development of a large-scale Active Matrix Organic Electroluminescence (OEL) display driven by thin film transistors (TFT). This was achieved through the utilization of Sony's proprietary Top emission Adaptive Current drive (TAC) technology that realizes high luminance and high resolution for large-scale displays over 10 inches. The featured prototype is 13 inches diagonally with a resolution of 800x600 pixels.

OEL displays driven by low-temperature polysilicon TFT are characterized by the self-luminous characteristic which offers wide viewing angle, high contrast ratio and precise color reproduction.OEL displays are also highly luminant, extremely thin and respond quickly to moving pictures.Recognizing their potential, the display industry is actively involved in R&D efforts for applications such as handhelds (PDA) and mobile phones. However, conventional driving systems induce non-uniformity of luminance which makes it difficult to apply OEL displays to large-scale applications. Also, the physical structure of OEL displays poses many technological challenges to attain higher luminance and resolution in the future.

In order to overcome the above challenges and to apply the OEL displays to large-scale displays over 10 inches, Sony developed the TAC technology to effectively drive the pixels thus attaining uniform luminance and high picture quality.Having developed the prototype, Sony will now advance its development to establish a mass production process to practically apply OEL displays to consumer display and computer monitor applications.

With the arrival of the broadband network era, display devices will play a key role as an interface connecting users to a variety of contents available over the network system. Sony will continue to actively develop next-generation display technologies that fulfil the requirements for a variety of applications and form factors.

Sony today applied to the Financial Services Agency to obtain a Preliminary Judgement for a Banking License, following its March 30, 2000 announcement of its plans to establish an Internet Bank.

(February 23, 2001, Tokyo) IMEC and Sony Corporation today announced that the two companies have signed a research collaboration program in the areas of wireless local area network (WLAN) and bipolar CMOS process technology.

The growing market pressure for high-performance semiconductors compels the industry to introduce new technologies at an unprecedented speed. This, together with intensifying technological challenges, can generate enormous investments in R&D, which necessitates global collaboration efforts between companies, independent laboratories and academia. In light of this, IMEC launched Industrial Affiliation Programs (IIAP) in which companies from all over the world participate to jointly develop next-generation semiconductor technologies on the basis of cost sharing and risk reduction.

In the area of broadband WLAN, Sony will participate in the IIAP to attain IMEC's advanced system know-how and designing/modelling methodologies for 5GHz WLAN solutions. Results of the collaboration will be transferred to Sony to facilitate the development of its proprietary WLAN device solution for future wireless consumer electronic products. Sony's engineers will participate in the IIAP as resident researchers for a period of two years.

In addition to the IIAP, the two companies agreed to enter into a technology transfer program, in which modules of IMEC's Bipolar CMOS process technology will be transferred to Sony. Bipolar CMOS technology will foster the development of high-speed analogue ICs that will become necessary to process high frequency signals for next-generation consumer electronic products in the broadband network era.

"IMEC has set up a scheme of worldwide interactions with many leading companies, mainly in the USA and Europe so far. We are very happy to be able to sign these two important contracts with Sony today. This is strengthening a relationship that started more than 10 years ago. We are looking forward to a very successful cooperation," said Dr. Gilbert Declerck, CEO of IMEC. "It is an important step for IMEC to expand its network of affiliate companies into Japan".

"In order to quickly develop semiconductors that determine the key features of digital electronic products, it has become necessary to conduct technology collaboration programs that span the semiconductor industry and the research institutes," said Tsugio Makimoto, Corporate Research Fellow and Corporate Senior Executive Vice President of Sony Corporation. "Sony has worked with IMEC for a number of years now, and has gained valuable experience in the development of the latest semiconductor technologies. We are delighted to once again participate in the IIAP as well as to begin a technology transfer program to further strengthen our ties into the future."