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Samsung to boost OLED production

£270m investment to boost next-gen displays

Samsung SDI has announced plans to expand production of organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays this year.

The company, in which Samsung Electronics holds a 20 percent stake, will invest 551.8 billion won (£270m) to increase production between now and June next year, it said in a regulatory filing with the Korea Stock Exchange today.

OLED is an emerging flat-panel display technology that uses an organic material in the pixels that emits its own light, so a backlight isn't needed. That helps make the displays thinner and much less power-hungry. OLED screens also handle fast-moving images better and offer richer colour reproduction than current LCDs and plasma displays.

The screens are already used for some mobile phones and other portable gadgets, like MP3 players, that need small screens. Screen makers are trying to extend the technology to larger screens suitable for television sets but they remain difficult to produce.

Last year Sony became the first company to put on sale a commercial OLED-based television. Its XEL-1 has an 11in screen and has been selling well in Japan, where it hit the shelves in December. Earlier this year Sony CEO Howard Stringer indicated Sony will launch a 27in OLED TV within the year and last week a Japanese newspaper said Panasonic is working on a 37in OLED TV. Panasonic confirmed it is working on OLED technology but declined to confirm the report.


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