Could the future of flat panel displays be OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology? Eastman Kodak Company and Sanyo Electric Co. hope so. They unveiled a prototype 15-inch flat-panel OLED display, based on Kodak’s patented technology, this week at the CEATEC JAPAN trade show.
The active-matrix display features full-color, 1280 x 720 (HDTV) resolution and a display area of 326.4 x 183.6 mm. Organic light-emitting diode displays offer bright, full-motion images that are viewable from a very wide angle, according to Leslie Polgar, the president of Kodak’s Display Products business.
The displays comprise specially designed organic thin-film materials that emit light when stimulated by an electric charge. Benefits over conventional technologies include higher contrast for superb readability in most lighting conditions, faster response time to support streaming video, and a 165-degree viewing angle and thinner design for better ergonomics, Polgar said.
OLED is looked upon as a promising display technology that if fully realized could consume less power and be thinner than liquid crystal displays (LCDs), which dominate the lucrative multibillion-dollar flat-panel monitor market. But analysts don’t expect OLED to unseat LCD anytime soon because, as with all emerging technologies, it takes time to streamline production and boost yields for high efficiencies and volumes.
OLED uses thin sheets of film coated with a highly fluorescent material that emits light when electrical current is applied. This electroluminescent film is easier to produce than liquid crystal screens, and illuminates the screen more efficiently than do backlit LCDs, which use an array of polarizers and color filters.
In December, Kodak and Sanyo announced the formation of a global joint venture, SK Display Corp., to manufacture OLED displays for consumer devices such as cameras, PDAs and portable entertainment machines.