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LG Philips shows colour 'e-paper' screen

Flexible 14in display aims to replace paper

LG.Philips LCD has taken the wraps off the world's first A4-sized colour 'e-paper' display, following up on its black and white display of the same size a year ago.

The 14.1in, 4,096-colour display is paper-thin and flexible, and can be viewed from up to a 180-degree angle, meaning images remain crisp even when the display is twisted around, the company said.

The image is designed to be comparable to print quality, LG.Philips said. The display is less than 300 micrometres thick, and only uses power when the image changes.

E-paper is a concept designed to open up new frontiers in the world of LCD displays and to replace paper in some cases. A number of companies have debuted prototypes of such lightweight, thin, flexible displays, including Taiwan's Prime View International (PVI) and Japan's Seiko Epson.

LG.Philips' version of the technology uses a substrate that arranges Thin-Film Transistors (TFT) on metal foil rather than glass, making the display flexible and allowing it to return to its original shape after being bent. The latest display includes a colour filter coated onto the plastic substrate.

The company's development process for the colour display centered on overcoming processing difficulties related to the lack of heat resistance in metal foil and plastic substrates.

That meant developing processing technology that minimises panel deformation and prevents circuit structure change during high-temperature processes, as well as research into the lamination technology and the design of the transistors and colour filter, the company said.

PVI recently introduced Vizplex, an e-paper technology that, like LG.Philips' displays, uses electronic ink from E-Ink. PVI's smaller displays, between 1.9in and 9.7in, are due out this summer and are designed for mobile phones, music players, bulletin boards and electronic books.

Seiko Epson introduced a high-resolution, A6-sized e-paper display using E-Ink and a manufacturing technique called surface-free technology by laser annealing (SUFTLA).

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