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OLED displays are the biggest yet

29 May 2003

At the Society for Information Display (SID) show in Baltimore, two manufacturers claim to have built the largest organic LED display ever seen.

Organic LED displays were much in evidence at last week’s Society for Information Display (SID) show in Baltimore, US, with two companies claiming to have built the largest yet.

International Display Technology (IDTech), a joint venture between Chi Mei Optoelectronics of Taiwan and IBM Japan, demonstrated a 20 inch display driven by what it calls ‘super amorphous silicon’ technology. Meanwhile, Sony showed off its 24 inch screen, which consists of a 2 x 2 tiled array of OLED displays.

Unlike most OLED displays, the device developed by IDTech is based on amorphous silicon transistors. According to the company, this enables much lower fabrication costs than the polycrystalline transistors generally used in OLED technology.

Amorphous silicon is already used in liquid-crystal display (LCD) manufacture, and IDTech says that its development makes commercial production of OLED displays with existing TFT-LCD manufacturing facilities possible.

“TFT-LCD companies can easily transform their products into OLED without massive investment in new facilities. This will result in a very competitive production cost for OLED displays,” said the company.

IDTech also claims that its display consumes half the power of a typical high-end LCD, has better color saturation and a wider viewing angle. It features WXGA resolution (1280x768 pixels) and draws 25W power at 300 cd/m2.

Although substantially bigger at 24.2 inches, the active-matrix OLED display developed by Sony is actually four separate displays. However, the company says that its tiling technology makes the join between each display appear seamless. However, the resolution of the Sony display is slightly less at 1024 x 768 pixels.

Both companies say that their developments open the door to OLED displays being used in televisions.

Michael Hatcher is technology editor on Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

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