Japan's Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi said on Wednesday they will merge their liquid-crystal display operations using government-backed funding to better compete with low-cost panels from South Korea and Taiwan.
The merger, to be completed by spring 2012, will create the world's largest maker of small panels used in smartphones and tablet PCs, leapfrogging global leaders Sharp and Samsung Electronics. The 90% government-owned Innovation Net-work Corp of Japan will eventually invest about 200 billion yen ($2.6 billion) in the merged unit, taking a 70% stake, while each of the three companies will take a 10% stake.
Meanwhile, Sony unveiled its three-dimensional head mounted display, a device that enables its wearer to experience cinema-like virtual screen viewing.
The "Personal 3D Viewer (HMZ-T1)", is a visor-like gadget weighing only 420 grammes (14.7 ounces) that wraps around the head and enables its wearer to view high definition 3D images using two panels mounted in front of each eye. The device is tethered to a processor unit and boasts surround-sound via earphones.