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Fujitsu Gets Out

After many years in plasma-manufacturing partnership, Fujitsu and Hitachi have agreed to change their relationship. Specifically, Hitachi will acquire Fujitsu's stock in Fujitsu Hitachi Plasma Display Limited (FHP) as well as Fujitsu's plasma display panel (PDP) technology patents. Once both companies have provided financial assistance to eliminate FHP's excessive debt by the end of March, the stock transfer will proceed quickly, making FHP a consolidated subsidiary of Hitachi.

This does not mean that FHP will disappear; in fact, no immediate change will be made in FHP's name or management after the company becomes a Hitachi subsidiary. As a manufacturer specializing in PDPs, FHP remains committed to maintaining and advancing its status as one of the market's primary suppliers of high-resolution, large-screen plasma panels.

FHP achieved its stature in the global PDP market largely through the development of its own technologies. These include the ALIS (Alternate Lighting of Surfaces) panel-driving system, the more advanced e-ALIS system for large-screen plasma panels, and the recently developed TERES (Technology of Reciprocal Sustainer) system that drives PDPs at half the conventional voltage.

In order to improve its position in the large flat-screen TV market, Hitachi knows it must adopt a new business model that brings advanced image-processing technologies and added-value features under an integrated business strategy, and acquiring FHP is an important part of that strategy. In addition, the company plans to tighten the collaboration between its PDP business and other core businesses, such as hard-disk and DVD drives as well as LSI microchips, to develop a range of products that can be networked together, ultimately leading to what Hitachi calls "the ubiquitous society."

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