Samsung develops 40-inch OLED prototype

Samsung Electronics has developed what it says is the world's first organic light emitting diode (OLED) display that measures 40-inches across the diagonal.

Samsung Electronics has developed what it says is the world's first organic light emitting diode (OLED) display that measures 40-inches across the diagonal.

OLEDs have been viewed as a potential replacement for LCDs (liquid crystal displays) and PDPs (plasma display panels) in some applications for several years. They don't require a power-hungry backlight and so are viewed favorably for portable applications. Generally faster response rates of OLED screens means they are also being considered for use in televisions.

The new display is about four times the size of its nearest competitor, a 21-inch prototype that was announced in January by Samsung Electronics. Prior to that panel the largest had been a 20-inch prototype produced by Japan's Seiko Epson. The Japanese company had also produced a 40-inch panel in the past but had done so by combining 4 of its 20-inch panels to create a larger screen. The new Samsung prototype is a single panel.

Samsung used an a-Si (Amorphous Silicon ) production process, which is similar to that used in some LCD production, to make the prototype. That means the panel can be made on existing LCD manufacturing lines and thus could mean a cut in the investment required to begin mass production. It also enables the production of larger size panels, such as the 21-inch and 40-inch prototypes. Panels produced using other methods are typically much smaller.

Brightness has been improved on the new panel versus the previous Samsung prototype, from 400 nits (candela per square meter) to 600 nits, and it has a contrast ratio of 5,000 to 1. The screen has a resolution of 1,280 pixels by 800 pixels (WXGA).

Samsung expects panels based on OLED technology will one day lead to the realization of flat-panel televisions that are 3 centimeters or less in depth. The company is also participating in a South Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry & Energy research project into future television technology using such panels.

Samsung Electronics will give the panel its public unveiling at the Society for Information Display's upcoming exhibition and conference that runs in Boston from May 24 to 27.

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Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
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