Rohm has licensed technology from Kodak to develop and produce OELDs, according to Yasushi Suzuki, a spokesman for Rohm. The two companies will exchange new developments on OELDs in the future, he added. Kodak has already developed OELD screen technology with Japanese electronics manufacturer Sanyo.
OELDs contain an organic layer which glows brightly when power is applied, meaning a large, power-guzzling backlight is not needed. The displays can be made smaller and battery life in portable products in which they are used is extended. In addition, they have very wide viewing angles, high contrast and good color reproduction when compared to current LCDs (liquid-crystal displays). For these reasons, they are being viewed as a potential replacement for TFT (thin film transistor) LCDs in many handheld devices. Other companies working on development of the technology include Sony Samsung Electronics, Pioneer, Ritek and NEC.
Rohm will start developing and producing OELDs for mobile devices such as telephones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) and plans to distribute products into the market by the end of 2002, said Suzuki.