Samsung has developed what it claims is the world's largest PDP (plasma display panel), measuring 102in diagonally.

The company plans to start producing the panels during the first half of 2005. Samsung expects Samsung Electronics to buy the 102in panels and make them into TVs at a later time. The company would not reveal the prices for the panels at this time.

The panels are capable of a high-definition resolution of 1920x1080 pixels, a brightness of 1000 candelas per square meter and a contrast ratio of 2000:1.

The production technology used to build the panels could potentially help to reduce prices for smaller PDPs. Rather than using a separate piece of glass for each panel it makes, the company can fabricate four 50in panels from a single, larger piece of glass, resulting in a lower cost per panel, Sohn says.

As well as being good for consumers, the lower prices would be a boost for electronics companies like Samsung, which has seen growing demand for big-screen TVs.

Samsung SDI will produce the 102in panels on a newly-built manufacturing line. Production volume has yet to be announced but is not expected to be large.

The giant panel will give Samsung SDI bragging rights over South Korean rival LG Electronics, which has been in a tit-for-tat battle with Samsung over who can produce the biggest panel.

In October 2003, LG Electronics announced the development of a prototype 76in screen. Three months later, Samsung said it had developed an 80in panel, but TVs have not yet been made commercially at that size.