Toshiba announces 'super-slim,' flexible LCD technology

Toshiba announced that it has developed a large flexible liquid crystal display that will pave the way to the display of images on curved screens and, eventually, foldable LCDs.

The new display is a full color, 8.4-inch, low-temperature polysilicon active-matrix TFT LCD supporting SVGA resolution. The flexible LCD brings new potentialities to design, while its super-slim profile (less than 0.4 millimeters) is a quarter to a fifth that of present low temperature polysilicon TFT LCDs, according to Toshiba. The flexibility of the screen also increases its resistance to shock, the company said.

The basis of the flexible LCD is a thin glass substrate, the layer on which TFTs are formed, attached to a flexible sheet. Displays using this technology can be manufactured at the normal process temperature. The new display can be flexed in all directions and bent to form a curve with a radius of curvature as high as 20 centimeters, according to Toshiba.

Other approaches to a flexible LCD have followed the approach of forming transistors on a flexible plastic substrate at an extremely low temperature, which did not achieve sufficient transistor quality or reliability, the company said.

Among the first applications for the new display will include TVs with curved screens that can be mounted in public and information displays in trains or buses. Toshiba is now developing mass production technology for the display and expects to launch commercial products by 2004.

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