SED (surface-conduction electron-emitter display) is a flat-panel, high-resolution display developed by Canon and Toshiba that will compete with LCD and plasma displays. SED is said to provide the picture quality of cathode-ray tube ( CRT ), in a flat-panel format, at about 50 percent of the power consumption of CRT displays and 33 percent of the power of plasma display s of a comparable size.
The SED consists of an array of electron emitters and a layer of phosphor, separated by a small space from which all the air has been evacuated. There is a dedicated electron emitter for each pixel in the display. The SED requires no electron-beam focusing, and operates at a much lower voltage than a CRT. The brightness and contrast compare favorably with high-end CRTs. Prototype electron emitters have been developed with diameters of a few nanometers (billionths of a meter), which could yield improved resolution.
In late January, 2007, Canon bought out Toshiba and SED Inc. became a wholly owned subsidiary of Canon. Although the product has not yet hit the market, early reports tend to rank SED as markedly superior to the other two formats. Consumer units are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2007.