Samsung announces 'largest ever' organic LED display

Samsung's new organic monitor may compete head-on with existing LCD technology

Samsung SDI, the Korean giant's display division, has announced prototypes of a 17-inch active matrix organic light emitting diode (OLED) display. Due for launch next year, the display has a resolution of 1600x1200 pixels and a brightness of 400 lumens, and is the largest OLED matrix display to date according to the company.

It will consume no more power than a 15-inch display and be a third of the thickness of existing LCD models, the company said. The prototype will be shown at the 2004 Society for Information Display (SID) conference, taking place from 25th May in Seattle.

The displays are made using a transfer technology developed by Samsung and 3M, where the pattern of plastic pixels on the screen is printed by scanning a laser across a set of organic films. This can produce a larger screen than is possible by the alternative method of spraying the plastic through a patterned shadow mask, says the company, while allowing a similar precision.

Organic LEDs are luminescent plastic semiconductors with the theoretical potential to replace LCDs, CRTs and other display technologies through greater efficiency, easier production, more physical flexibility and lower cost. To date, however, problems with device lifetime, chemistry and production have limited their use to mobile devices and backlights. Samsung's basic OLED technology was licenced from Kodak and developed in conjunction with NEC, which sold its stake in the joint venture to Samsung at the beginning of 2004.