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OLEDs ready for volume production

17 Jun 2002

Philips is now making high volumes of its first polymer organic LED product.

Philips has launched what it claims is the first high volume production polymer organic LED product, a Philishave electric razor. The 22 x  24 mm passive matrix mono device displays battery charging condition. Philips predicts sales of 100,000 in the first 12 months.

The only other volume OLED producer, Pioneer, has been selling the rival small molecule technology licensed from Eastman Kodak. This has been an emerging feature of car stereos for the past two years.

Philips' polymer OLED is based on CDT technology and will act as a learning curve for future applications. Philips' next product will be a vacuum fluorescent display replacement used in the instrumentation test and measurement sector.

CDT says that the development is a major step on the road map for polymer OLEDs. Another company using CDT intellectual property is Toshiba which has shown a 17 inch diagonal OLED, full color, full video device - the biggest to date.

Toshiba and CDT are expected to sign a licensing agreement at some point but David Fyfe, CDT's CEO, points out that "Toshiba does not need a licensing agreement with us until they start manufacturing".

According to CDT, Toshiba has achieved lifetimes in the blue of more than 5000 h which would be within specifications for wireless applications. Fyfe said that CDT itself was close to 5000 h with a new blue material it has been working on.

Other CDT licensees are now well on track to commercial products. Delta will bring out an alphanumeric screen later this year; Osram will ship devices for a mobile phone customer in September; DuPont and Ritek will have a polymer screen in production in the third quarter; MicroEmissive Displays will have an OLED CMOS microdisplay in 2003; and Seiko Epson is expected to have a full color device for a phone application in mid 2003.

Phillip Hill is editor of Displays Europe and a contributing editor of Opto & Laser Europe magazine.

First Light ImagingECOPTIKOptikos Corporation Schaefter und Kirchhoff GmbHLaCroix Precision OpticsABTechCHROMA TECHNOLOGY CORP.
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