LG Display, a leading manufacturer of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display announced that it has started mass production of the world's first plastic electronic paper display (EPD) for use in eBooks. The 6-inch XGA (1024 x 768), e-ink, plastic EPD is expected to revolutionize the eBook market with its advancements in functionality and design. This new flexible display paves the way for a whole new line of eBook readers with new and unique form factors. The world's first mass-produced plastic EPD from LG Display will first be supplied to ODM companies in China, followed by completed products to be released in Europe at the beginning of next month.
A big leap for eBook readers
The new display offers users a paper-like reading experience with a plastic substrate that is as slim as a cell phone protection film, and a flexible design that allows bending at a range of 40 degrees from the centre of the screen. Compared to glass EPD of the same size and resolution, LG Display's plastic EPD realizes a super slim thickness of 0.7 mm, which is 1/3 slimmer than the existing glass EPD; as well as a weight of 14g, which is more than 1/2 times lighter. Traditional eBook screens are more prone to damage, if dropped from a height due to the type of display used, but when LG’s plastic EPD was put through repeated drop tests, from 1.5m above the ground or the average height of reading when standing, it was able to sustain damage a lot better. When put through a break/scratch test involving hitting the display with a small urethane hammer, no scratches or breakage resulted. As EPD gets thinner, lighter, and more durable with the introduction of plastic EPD, eBooks will be able to offer certain unique benefits, compared to smart devices and tablets, including reduced eye fatigue and more efficient electricity consumption in addition to lower prices.
The display is made using a unique technique to utilize the high TFT process, typically employed in general LCD manufacturing and with temperatures exceeding 350 degrees in the production of its plastic EPD. By overcoming the obstacles associated with applying the existing production process to heat susceptible plastic, LG Display achieved a breakthrough with the successful mass production of plastic EPD able to maintain strong durability in high temperatures. Expect to see a new wave of devices in the coming months.
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