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Samsung develops flexible LCD panel

Should be in use in products by 2007

Samsung has developed a flexible LCD (liquid crystal display) panel prototype, and intends to commercialise products using the technology by 2007.

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 spokeswoman Lee Jae Min.

The 5in prototype weighs 22g, and this is about one-third the weight of a conventional 5in LCD display, she said.

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 (400x300 pixels) resolution.

The first products using the screens will be notebook PCs and other portable consumer electronics product, Lee said. The sizes of the panels have yet to be decided, but they could be either bigger or smaller than 5in, she said. 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 said.

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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