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Planar's TFEL Display Glass Selected by Jetronic for China Market

Planar Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLNR), a worldwide leader in specialty display solutions, today announced that its proprietary thin film electroluminescent (TFEL) display technology will be incorporated in industrial products manufactured by Jetronic Technology for the domestic China market, as well as in a product manufactured by a U.S. company specializing in public safety products. Planar's TFEL display technology is designed to withstand extreme temperature environments and demanding ergonomic conditions. Consistent with Planar's strategy to serve specialty markets with best-of-breed display technologies, these new TFEL design wins demonstrate the unique capabilities that Planar can offer its customers.

“Planar has seen a 11 percent growth in EL sales in its past fiscal year, which has been driven by OEMs needing even lower cold temperature performance and the crisp image presentation enabled by Planar’s EL technology,” said Doug Barnes, general manager and vice president of Planar’s industrial business unit. “New demand continues to emerge for communication, petro-chemical, and test and measurement equipment that can reliably perform in severe temperature conditions and offer multi-person, off-axis viewing in industrial environments. Planar’s TFEL design wins demonstrate how this display technology and expertise can enhance user experience and increase our customers’ competitive advantage.”

Jetronic Technology, a manufacturer and a value-added electronics devices distributor based in Hong Kong, plans to incorporate the Planar TFEL display into industrial products sold in China. The addition of Jetronic as a Planar partner will increase sales coverage within the China market. Their value-added capabilities offer streamlined distribution of Planar’s TFEL display technology to the end customer.

“Planar’s EL display technology is beautiful,” said Thomas Wong, president of Jetronic Technology, LTD. “But we also needed lower cost products to penetrate traditional LCD territory, in spite of TFEL’s advantages. Planar has helped us educate our designers on the best way to integrate EL into our products. Planar invited our engineers to their facility and provided extensive training. By combining Planar’s TFEL engineering and design with products we make ourselves, we will be able to offer an industry-leading solution at a lower cost than previously estimated.”

A second customer, a U.S.-based manufacturer of public safety products, looked to Planar for a solution that will increase the cognition of on-screen data in vehicle-deployed communication products. Rapid cognition of data helps to eliminate distraction-related accidents while their equipment is being viewed in moving vehicles. Planar’s TFEL display functions at full speed and brightness in extreme temperatures as low as -60° C and as high as 85° C without any image degradation or blur. Planar’s TFEL is perfect for displaying key command and control data within moving vehicles because the crisp image presentation enables readability at a glance. Unlike LCDs, TFEL is readable through polarized sunglasses so that users wearing sunglasses in bright ambient conditions will have no difficulty viewing the display.

To date, Planar’s TFEL display modules have been used in vehicles for communication and military gunfire control applications, as well as driver interface terminals in Class-8 trucking, portable defibrillators, medical instruments, and industrial controls where instant recognition, long-term reliability, and wide temperature range performance are required. These latest customer wins mark a new application of TFEL display technology unique to Planar’s 26-year history because the customers are buying just the TFEL glass, not the fully-integrated display module. They are incorporating the TFEL display glass, control and interface circuitry into their own motherboard. In both instances, Planar educated the customer on the methods of integrating TFEL glass into their products to cut total costs and achieve a smaller form factor.

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