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By Mike Ueda ¥ Wireless SmartCard In Development Hitachi Maxell Plans to expand its non-contact Smartcard sheet business. The company plans to manufacture a flexible PET (polyethyleneterephthalate)-made modular sheet which integrates an IC chip with 1Kbyte embedded EEPROM and an antenna coil. With the 0.15mm-thick sheet, it is possible to develop a 0.25mm smartcard. The chip has a transmission range of 10cm, which will allow for easier in-store transactions and vending machines. ¥ Mitsubishi Starts LCD Production Mitsubishi Electric will begin to produce low-temperature polycrystal silicon TFT LCDs in fiscal 1999. The company will initially manufacture 2- to 4-inch viewfinder LCDs and eventually expand its product line to

By Mike Ueda ¥ Wireless SmartCard In Development Hitachi Maxell Plans to expand its non-contact Smartcard sheet business. The company plans to manufacture a flexible PET (polyethyleneterephthalate)-made modular sheet which integrates an IC chip with 1Kbyte embedded EEPROM and an antenna coil. With the 0.15mm-thick sheet, it is possible to develop a 0.25mm smartcard. The chip has a transmission range of 10cm, which will allow for easier in-store transactions and vending machines. ¥ Mitsubishi Starts LCD Production Mitsubishi Electric will begin to produce low-temperature polycrystal silicon TFT LCDs in fiscal 1999. The company will initially manufacture 2- to 4-inch viewfinder LCDs and eventually expand its product line to

By Mike Ueda ¥ Konica Starts Plastic Pickup Production Konica announced it would begin production of plastic optical pickups for use with CD and DVD players. The company expects to produce 500,000 units per month by year's end. ¥ Sony, Itochu Step Back From DBS in Japan Sony and Itochu decided to forgo entry into the digital broadcast satellite business slated to start-up in Japan in late 2000 and will instead focus on digital broadcasts via communications satellite. Both firms are lead shareholders in SKY PerfecTV, the digital communications satellite broadcaster that launches May 1. Matsushita Electric, Toshiba and Mitsui & Co. remain poised for full entry into

By Mike Ueda ¥ Konica Starts Plastic Pickup Production Konica announced it would begin production of plastic optical pickups for use with CD and DVD players. The company expects to produce 500,000 units per month by year's end. ¥ Sony, Itochu Step Back From DBS in Japan Sony and Itochu decided to forgo entry into the digital broadcast satellite business slated to start-up in Japan in late 2000 and will instead focus on digital broadcasts via communications satellite. Both firms are lead shareholders in SKY PerfecTV, the digital communications satellite broadcaster that launches May 1. Matsushita Electric, Toshiba and Mitsui & Co. remain poised for full entry into

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