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Fujitsu Betting Flat Is Better

Flat televisions that hang on walls like

paintings have been predicted for years, but now Japanese companies are starting to bet hundreds of millions of dollars to bring the technology into homes.

On Thursday, Fujitsu Ltd. announced it will invest 20 billion yen, or $210 million, this year to construct a production line for 42-inch color flat TV screens. It plans to spend an additional $420 million in 1998, and by the year 2000 be making 100,000 panels a month.

The so-called plasma display panels are a mere 3 inches thick, making the production of flat TVs possible.

They won’t be cheap. When mass production starts in the fall of 1996, each screen will be priced at about $5,200, Fujitsu President Tadashi Sekizawa said.

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