Is Plasma Sapping Panasonic’s Energy

Panasonic’s  first quarter (January-March 2012) losses grew an order of magnitude to reach  USD 5 billion. In part, this loss is due to their heavy investment in plasma display technology as well as natural disasters.  Plasma TV’s are a technology that use micro-discharges to produce UV light to excite phosphors that drive a classical Red, Green and Blue display.  The technology brought the word plasma from obscurity to commercial relevance. This was the first time that the electrical plasma became a word that the layman might use.  If you do a google search on plasma 95% of the returns will relate to Plasma TV’s.  But, is the era of plasma displays over?   The technology does produce a superior quality of picture but is more bulky and less bright than its competitors. If, indeed we are seeing a decline in the Plasma TV’s, I have no doubt that it will be replaced by a new plasma technology that will prevent the word disappearing from common use.  See for example the plasma toothbrush.

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