Samsung Shows Flexible LCD

Samsung Electronics has developed a flexible LCD panel prototype that measures 5 inches across the diagonal, and intends to commercialize products based on the technology by 2007, a company spokesperson says.

Conventional LCD displays are made from glass panels. The flexible prototype is made from a plastic backing that is thin enough so it can be bent. Displays based on the technology will be lighter and more robust than conventional LCDs, according to spokesperson Lee Jae Min.

The 5-inch prototype weighs .8 ounces, and this is about one third of the weight of a conventional 5-inch LCD display, she says.

The panel uses amorphous silicon TFT (thin-film transistor) LCD technology, which is a commonly-used type of LCD. The panel has a quarter SVGA (400 pixels by 300 pixels) resolution.

Product Plans

The first products using the screens will be notebook PCs and other portable consumer electronics product, Lee says. The sizes of the panels have yet to be decided, but they could be bigger or smaller than 5 inches, she says. More exotic wearable display products such as helmets, glasses,and fashion accessories could come later.

"It's possible to take this technology to such products, but right now we don't have a market for this. But, eventually we think this will happen," she says.

The prototypes were developed in cooperation with South Korean plastic LCD maker SoftPixel as part of a program funded by the South Korean Ministry of Commerce, Industry, and Energy, according to Samsung. The company declined to talk about SoftPixel's role in the development and the program's budget.

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