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Chi Mei 25in OLED is just 1mm thick

Prototype display on show at FPD event

Taiwanese display manufacturer Chi Mei has developed a 25in screen that's less than 1mm thick.

The new screen, which was unveiled by Chi Mei at the FPD International exhibition in Japan on Wednesday, is based on the emerging OLED (organic light emitting diode) technology and attracted a steady stream of show attendees who snapped pictures of the screen or who peered around the edge to take a look at just how thin it is.

The screen's thinness is thanks to one of the advantages of OLED technology. In OLED screens the pixels contain an organic material that emits light when energized. That means a light source like the backlights used on today's LCDs isn't required and so the screens can be made much thinner. OLEDs also have a lower power consumption, can handle fast-moving images better and offer richer colour reproduction than competing LCDs and PDPs.

chi mei oled

Chi Mei EL's previous thinnest prototype was 3mm thick but the company managed to slim this down by adopting a new production method, said Leonard Fu, a product manager with the company.

The screen has a resolution of 1,366 pixels by 768 pixels (WXGA) and can display 16.7m colours.

OLED panels are already used in a handful of consumer electronics products like music players or mobile phones, but they are yet to become widely used in other areas. The first OLED television was put on sale by Sony in December last year but it's expensive for its size. The 11in XEL-1 costs around $2,500 (£1,500).

Sony and several other companies are pursuing larger OLED screens for televisions and at the FPD show a number were on display.

Sony has also demonstrated a prototype screen that's the same thickness as the Chi Mei EL screen, but the Sony prototype is 11 inches across the diagonal. That makes Chi Mei EL's prototype more than double the size and about five times the area.

Chi Mei EL is a display off-shoot from Taiwan's Chi Mei Optoelectronics. It was formed in 2004 to develop OLED displays and the company already sells a number of small-size panels for use in portable electronics devices.

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