Companies Racing to Bring Out Flexible Displays

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In the past few weeks, both Sony and LG.Philips/Universal Display Corporation have shown off prototypes of flexible displays.

Screens that can be rolled up into a cylinder raise the possibility of small, pocketable computers with large, high-resolution displays.

Sony

This week, Sony released a video of its latest flexible display in action.

This screen is just 0.01 inches (0.3 mm) thick and can be bent and twisted, all while showing images and playing video.

"In the future, it could get wrapped around a lamppost or a person’s wrist, even worn as clothing," a company spokesperson said.

However, this display is only at the prototype stage, and Sony so far has only been able to make screens that are 2.5 inches diagonally. Production costs are also very high.

The screen uses this company’s organic thin-film transistor (TFT) and organic electroluminescent display technologies.

LG.Philips and Universal Display Corporation

Recently, LG Philips and Universal Display Corporation showed off a prototype 4-inch (10 cm), full-color flexible screen they developed in cooperation.

This has a 320-by-240-pixel resolution and can show 16.7 million colors.

It is based on an amorphous Si (a-Si) TFT formed on a stainless steel foil board.

Coming When?

Both of these prototypes were on display at the Society for Display (SID) 2007 tradeshow held last week in California.

None of these companies have said when their flexible displays are likely to be be widely comercially available.

 

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