Japanese firms develop 13-inch 8K OLED display

This prototype screen has 500 million transistors and 664 pixels per inch

If you love the way colors pop on large OLED displays, Sharp and other Japanese companies are working on a tiny treat for you: a 13-inch OLED screen with 8K resolution.

Recently shown off at a conference of the Society for Information Display (SID), the prototype 13.3-inch display is being developed by Semiconductor Energy Laboratory (SEL), Sharp and Advanced Film Device.

The display has a resolution of 7,680 by 4,320 pixels, at a density of 664 pixels per inch, according to an SID research paper by the companies. The SID presentation was reported in Nikkei Technology.

The display contains about 500 million pixel transistors. Its backplane consists of CAAC-OS (c-axis aligned crystalline oxide semiconductor) field effect transistors.

It's too early to say whether the display will be commercialized, said a spokeswoman for SEL, an R&D company based outside Tokyo.

Seen as the successor 4K, 8K screens generally have a resolution of about 8,000 pixels on the horizontal axis, with the total number of pixels on the screen being four times that of 4K and 16 times that of full-HD.

Japanese public broadcaster Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK) TV has been experimenting with the format, which it calls Super Hi-Vision, for years. It plans to hold public viewings in Japan of 2014 World Cup soccer matches in 8K beginning on Sunday.

Organic light-emitting diode (OLED) displays, which can deliver colors that are more vivid than standard LCD displays, have been the focus of debate on when they may enter the consumer mainstream.

Citing the expensive manufacturing process, Samsung's visual display chief has said reasonably priced OLED screens are years away.

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Tim Hornyak

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