The Future of OLED TV

LG showed off a 31 inch OLED TV at IFA 2010

The iPhone 4 has 960-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi for its 3.5 inch display The iPhone 4 is using In-plane switching is an LCD technology which aligns the liquid crystal cells in a horizontal direction. In this method, the electrical field is applied through each end of the crystal, but this requires two transistors for each pixel instead of the single transistor needed for a standard thin-film transistor (TFT) display. Before LG Enhanced IPS was introduced in 2009, the additional transistors resulted in blocking more transmission area, thus requiring a brighter backlight, which consumed more power, and made this type of display less desirable for notebook computers.

The Super Amoled at the Galaxy S has and the Samsung Galaxy S2 will have a resolution of 800×480, 260ppi and a contrast ratio 100.000:1, but uses about 30% less power than the Apple iPhone 4. OLED should become the dominant display technology for smartphones, tablets, laptops and TVs over the next few years.

While an OLED will consume around 40% of the power of an LCD displaying an image which is primarily black, for the majority of images it will consume 60–80% of the power of an LCD – however it can use over three times as much power to display an image with a white background such as a document or website. This can lead to reduced real-world battery life in mobile devices.

Researcher Rinzler and his colleagues used a network of carbon nanotubes to drive current. The nanotube layer is porous, letting light through, so the transistor and light-emitting layers can be stacked vertically instead of sitting side-by-side, saving real estate. Without having to squeeze in transistors right next door to the OLEDs, more area is devoted to emitting light. In fact, 98 percent of the device emits light. This improvement should enable OLEDs with smartphone resolution density (270+ ppi) for larger screens.

DuPont stated in a press release in May 2010 that they can produce a 50-inch OLED TV in two minutes with a new printing technology. If this can be scaled up in terms of manufacturing, then the total cost of OLED TVs would be greatly reduced. Dupont also states that OLED TVs made with this less expensive technology can last up to 15 years if left on for a normal eight hour day

OLED Association forecast on TVs
* 2012 1 to 2 million 30-40 inch Television
* 2013-2014 5 to 6 million 30-50 inch Television
* 2015 10 to 15 million cost competitive Organic light emitting Panels

Samsung expects to sell 1 Billion OLED TV and mobile device displays in 5 Years. Samsung invest $2.2 billion to the 5.5 Gen OLED factory which starts production in 2012. Samsung Sang-Soo Kim also said that TV challenges will be met, and AMOLED will become the mainstream display technology for TVs by 2015.

MBraun, a supplier of processing tools to leading display firms, reveals that recent orders suggest its customers are on track to deliver commercial OLED televisions to the market in 2011

The German company provides automation and production tools to OLED display makers including Samsung and LG, which have reportedly been ramping up production for OLEDs recently, as covered in +Plastic Electronics Volume 2, issue 6.

Announced scale-up plans have been for smaller screens though, suitable for smartphones and cameras. Samsung announcing its new facilities will be able to produce 30 million 3-inch screens per month, for instance.

MBraun’s orders from the electronics manufacturers suggest that they have television manufacturing in mind.

Scale-up solved

One of the barriers to the television market has been increasing screen sizes in production. Display makers have been reticent about revealing how this has been overcome. However, MBraun sales manager for flat panel applications, Daniel Karecovsky, says that the solutions have been found.

Karecovsky remarks: ‘The job of scaling up is one for our customers, which they are adapting to currently available equipment. These steps have already been taken, to produce screens up to 42″ in size.’

LG is increasing the availability of its 15EL 9500, a 15-inch display (already available in some parts of Europe) in 2010, while Samsung is believed to be ahead of its South Korean competitor in terms of commercial OLED development.

And Karecovsky suggests that the firms will be ready to sustain significant manufacturing for OLED televisions next year too.

15EL 9500 costs 1448 pounds on Amazon (US$2420)

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