Archive for the ‘OLED’ Category

LG Display Announces World’s Largest OLED TV Panel Measuring 55 Inches

10 Jan

LG Display [NYSE: LPL, KRX: 034220], a leading innovator of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) technology, today announced that it has developed the world’s largest 55-inch OLED(Organic Light Emitting Diodes) TV panel. The 55-inch panel is a significant step forward in the popularization of OLED TVs and demonstrates the effective application of AM OLED technology to larger panel sizes at a more cost efficient level.

“Our objective has always been to actively define and lead emerging display technology markets,” said Dr. Sang Beom Han, CEO and Executive Vice President of LG Display. “Although OLED technology is seen as the future of TV display, the technology has been limited to smaller display sizes and by high costs, until now. LG Display’s 55-inch OLED TV panel has overcome these barriers.”

Superior Image Quality in an Ultra Thin Design

LG Display’s 55 inch OLED TV panel produces remarkable image quality with no after image due to its high reaction velocity, as well as high contrast ratio of over 100,000:1 and wider color gamut than that produced by LCD panels.

OLED, a medium that controls pixels is a departure from LCD panels which utilize liquid crystals. The new technology allows light emitting diodes to self-generate light and features a reaction velocity to electric signals over 1000 times faster than liquid crystal.

The environmentally conscious will also appreciate LG Display’s 55 inch OLED TV panel. While light sources in backlight units, like LCD panels, must always be kept on, the OLED panel allows diodes to be turned on or off which enables lower power consumption than conventional LCD panels.

With no need for a special light source, LG Display’s 55 inch OLED TV panel is also able to utilize a simplified structure thinner than that of a pen (5mm), and lighter than LCD panels. The panel’s minimalist structure also allows for the realization of unique design elements.

Advancing the Popularization of OLED TVs

Although industry watchers anticipate OLED as the future of TV display, to date, the technology has faced challenges due to limitations on the sizes of displays it can be applied to and a high level of investment required. LG Display has successfully addressed these issues with its 55 inch OLED TV panel.

The panel adopts an Oxide TFT technology for backplane which is different from a Low Temperature Poly Silicon (LTPS) type generally used in existing small-sized OLED panels. The Oxide TFT type that LG Display utilizes is similar to the existing TFT process, with the simple difference lying in replacing Amorphous Silicon with Oxide. Moreover, the Oxide TFT type produces identical image quality to high performance of LTPS base panels at significantly reduced investment levels.

Additionally, LG Display uses White OLED (WOLED). WOLED vertically accumulates red, green, and blue diodes. With white color light emitting from the diode, it displays screen information through color layers below the TFT base panel, which leads to a lower error rate, higher productivity, and a clearer Ultra Definition screen via the benefits of small pixels. Further, it is possible to realize identical colors in diverse angles via color information displayed through a thin layer. Lower electricity consumption in web browsing environments for smart TVs is another key strength of WOLED.

Showing at CES 2012

The world’s first 55 inch OLED TV panel from LG Display will be made available for showing to select media and customers at a private booth starting on January 9 in Las Vegas through the end of CES 2012.


Posted in OLED


Osram Opens OLED Pilot-production Facility in Germany

02 Sep

Citing an initial investment of 20 million Euros, Osram announced that it has opened a pilot-production line for the manufacture of organic LEDs in Regensburg, Germany.

Osram AG (Munich, Germany), the lighting subsidiary of Siemens AG, is celebrating the opening of a pilot-line manufacturing plant for organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). The facility in Regensburg West, which currently employs 220 people, required an investment of 20 million Euros ($28.9 million).

“Today Regensburg is sending out an important message for the high-tech location of Germany and the safeguarding of high-quality jobs,” said Wolfgang Dehen, chairman of the managing board of Osram AG. Annette Schavan, the German Federal Minister for Education and Research said “The inauguration of this OLED production plant in Regensburg proves Germany’s leading position in the introduction of this future technology.”

The new pilot-production line enables Osram to manufacture transparent OLED-panels. One goal is to double the brightness of the OLEDs, while improving efficiency and further strengthening panel durability. In the last stage of expansion, Osram expects to reduce OLED manufacturing costs by 90 percent. “Two years ago, we were the first company to offer serial OLED-products on the market. The new production is a major leap on the way to widespread use,” said Martin Goetzeler, member of the managing board and COO of Osram AG.

Significant investment

Osram is reportedly the only company with production sites for both (inorganic) LEDs and OLEDs in Europe. Osram currently dedicates two-thirds of its research and development (R&D) expenditures to LEDs and OLEDs. In the past five years, the company has invested approximately 50 million Euros ($72.25 million) in R&D to OLEDs. The company’s portfolio includes OLED panels and modules as well as complete luminaires.

Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BABF) has played a critical role in the country’s development of OLED technology through the OLED 2015 initiative. In the second phase of the initiative, four companies, Osram Opto Semiconductors, Philips, Aixtron and BASF, received a commitment for funding from the BABF to be used toward developing innovative material and component architectures as well as new production machines for lighting solutions with highly-efficient OLEDs. In this second-phase TOPAS 2012 program, which stands for Thousand-lumen Organic Phosphorescent devices for Applications in lighting Systems, Osram Opto Semiconductors has been focused on developing transparent OLED solutions with a size of 1 square meter.

While inorganic LEDs use semiconductors to convert electricity into light, OLED panels generate a luminous surface based on a very thin stack of organic semiconductor layers that have been evaporated onto a thin substrate (400 nm total thickness). When switched off, the OLED can either display a mirroring effect, be neutrally white or transparent, depending on the basic material.

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Posted in OLED


LED backlight design for large displays

03 Mar

LEDs use a DC supply, making them simpler to drive, there is no inverter, which improves efficiency, and their power consumption varies nearly linearly with brightness, simplifying power management. As a result the majority of small to medium displays are now fitted with them, writes Mike Caddy.

Despite their advantages and growing popularity, there are also drawbacks associated with LED backlights. A white LED isn’t truly white. It is actually a blue LED fitted with a yellow phosphor to give the impression of white light, and its spectral curve has gaps in the green and red parts of the spectrum. To achieve the very best colour balance, premium quality LCD displays are fitted with RGB backlights.

Most displays of any size will require more than one LED for an acceptable level of brightness, and good uniformity is harder to achieve, especially as the LEDs age.

Power efficiency can also be a challenge. Though LED displays are normally more power efficient than CCFL, this is not a given and some implementations use the same or more power than their CCFL counterparts.

LEDs are however continually improving in terms of light output, efficiency and lifetime. LED brightness has increased so that fewer devices are potentially required per display. Manufacturers have used MEMS and other light guide technologies to spread illumination evenly over a large area to give the maximum brightness and uniformity.

Other sophistications include full frame LED lighting, where the LCD panel is divided into up to 240 segments, and the brightness of the LED backlight can be varied locally, to produce a ‘blacker black’ in dark areas of the screen and simultaneously to reduce power. Ultra thin screens can be created by using edge lighting.

 Making the most of your LED backlight

LCD displays vary greatly in their performance, and some displays can achieve a required level of ‘readability’ with less help from the backlight than others. The key parameters to look at are brightness, contrast ratio and viewing angle.

Brightness is a relatively well-standardised parameter, and is quoted in candelas per square metre in a darkened room with all pixels white at maximum backlight drive. Contrast ratio values are less easy to compare as there are a number of ways of interpreting this measurement, but it is fundamentally the ratio of the luminance of the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black) that the system is capable of producing.

Viewing angle is more subjective.

Display brightness is affected by the transmission ratio of a TFT display. A small proportion of each pixel is obscured by the thin film transistor controlling it. Technologies such as low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) reduce the size of this transistor.

Whilst the performance figures can provide a guide to drawing up a shortlist of potential display options, the best advice for applications where good visibility is required under demanding conditions, and power consumption is also an issue, is to mock up the application on a number of display alternatives and measure the backlight power in each case. Factors to be considered are the ambient light level in the environment in which the display is to be used, and the likely viewing angle. Sometimes varying the colour in which key information is presented can also have an impact on display performance.

 OLED – the no backlight alternative

The driving of an LCD itself consumes very little power, and the power consumption of the display system is almost all down to the backlight – which always illuminates the whole display area unless it can be switched off.

OLED by contrast is an emissive technology. Each pixel emits its own light – so when it is off, it produces no light and consumes almost no power. Unlike backlit LCD displays therefore, OLEDs produce a true black, and their contrast ratio is much higher, typically 10,000:1 compared with 400:1 for a conventional TFT display. They are also brighter, partly because they don’t require the pair of polarizers which filters out half of the light emitted by the backlight in an LCD display.

Aesthetically OLED technology wins hands down over LCD, with much improved brightness and contrast. The response time of an OLED display is typically 50μs versus 25ms of LCD, meaning full motion-video is faster and grayscale rendition is far superior.

Despite its higher cost and shorter lifetime, OLED is being used in a growing number of cool consumer products, including the Sony X-series Walkman, the Nokia N85 and the Microsoft Zune HD. The technology is now also becoming available on the industrial market, and OLED display options in a range of sizes (0.79in to 7.0in) and resolutions (64×48 to 480×272) are offered, supported by development and evaluation kits.

OLED power management

The power consumption of an OLED display is not a fixed value but varies depending on the image being displayed. In typical video and image display applications, it can be as low as 25% of the theoretical ‘maximum’ power that would be consumed if all pixels were fully illuminated.

For applications where power is a major concern, image design can contribute to reducing consumption. For example, displaying an image in negative mode (white text on a dark background) can be much more efficient than in positive mode (dark text on a white background), since you need to switch on only around one-tenth of the pixels.

Pixel brightness also impacts power consumption. The relationship isn’t quite linear, but this is a good first order approximation. Power can be saved not only by reducing the brightness of all pixels when ambient light levels permit, but also by context-sensitive brightness management – for example by dimming menu areas that aren’t available. 

Reducing brightness can also help extend the life of the display. Where power really is a challenge, changing the colour of frequently displayed menu items could also be considered, as the red and green pixels are more efficient than the blue. A research team from British Columbia has been able to design “energy aware” colour sets that gave energy savings of around 40% compared to a standard colour palette.

Refresh rate also has an impact on power consumption due to the capacitative characteristics of OLED pixels. A very high frame frequency increases power consumption by increasing the number of charging cycles. It can also cause the display to dim, as the pixels don’t have time to charge fully during each refresh cycle. Although the contrast setting can be increased to compensate, this further increases power consumption. The refresh rate should be set as low as possible without causing visible image ‘flickering’. A suitable nominal value is 75Hz though it is sometimes possible to get away with as little as 60Hz.

Since OLEDs are an emissive technology, very slow degradation of pixels occurs with continuous use. In addition to using stand-by and time-out modes to reduce ageing, it is worth considering a screen saver. The number of pixels used in the screen saver and their brightness should be managed as above.


Sony shows off its new OLED screen

28 May

Sony now shows off its new flexible OLED display that is 4.1-inches and just 80 μm thick. The screen is able to display the image even when fully rolled up and can be rolled around a pen or pencil in the office.

Sony said the screen can provide 432×240 pixel resolution, but there are no plans to release it to market.


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