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Hitachi to license its plasma TV technology

Staring at the very aggressive plasma television market, the crew over at Hitachi has decided to establish its plasma display panel division as a separate entity.

The Tokyo-based electronics manufacturer said this week that it will establish its Hitachi Plasma Patent Licensing as a wholly owned subsidiary on July 1. The division, worth an estimated $917,000, will manage Hitachi's plasma licensing portfolio. Plasma TV shipments are expected to grow to 18.2 million units in 2009, up from 2.1 million in 2004, according to analysts at market research firm iSuppli.

Hitachi is looking to differentiate itself from the competition by using a new method of making plasma displays known as ALIS (Alternate Lighting of Surfaces. Better than VGA (Video Graphics Array) products, Hitachi said, ALIS alternately displays odd and even lines at high speeds.

Executives also announced that Hitachi is looking at letting its plasma production partner Matsushita Electric Industrial purchase less than 20 percent in the new company in order to build a licensing relationship between the two companies.

Hitachi recently announced eight new high-definition plasma televisions with either 42-inch or 55-inch screens. The company is also investing $787 million (85 billion yen) in the Miyazaki Works facility of its Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma Display (FHP) project, which should be completed by late 2006.