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The flat panel display market will grow by at least 20 per cent per year for the next five years, from 184.6 million units in 1998 to 600.5 million units in 2003. These findings are based on a study of sales of major end use applications of the displays, carried out by Semico Research. Most of the growth will be spurred by the demand for cell phone displays and industrial products like GPS receivers, handheld intelligent appliances, digital cameras. Flat panel television sets will still be too expensive to grab a significant portion of the mass consumer TV market. By 2003, the average selling price will be around $2,000 for a flat panel TV, and then they will start to be competitive with the high-end projection TVs, and possibly the largest CRT TVs. Active-Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays (AM LCD), found in virtually every type of flat panel application, will maintain their current popularity. Semico expects the market to grow from 20 million in unit sales this year to 150 million unit sales in 2003. Contrast this with Plasma Display Panels (PDP), with projected 2003 unit sales of 8 million, up from 500,000 in 1998. Two emerging technologies that Semico highlights as possible market contenders are Field Emission Displays (FED) and Electroluminescent Displays (ELD). FED manufacturers have not reached volume production yet, as they are still working through technical problems. The ruggedness of ELD relative to LCD make it ideal for the military market, but Semico says technical problems may prevent the technology from going much further. Goto this address for more info on the survey. ®

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