World’s first electronic paper devices coming to Europe

29 Mar 2012

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LG Display has revealed that it has started mass production of the world’s first plastic electronic paper display for use in e-books. The breakthrough technology has gone straight to Chinese manufacturers and is set to arrive in finished products in Europe in April.

The 6-inch e-ink plastic electronic paper display (EPD) technology is expected to revolutionise the e-book market.

The electronic paper displays offer a paper-like reading experience with a plastic substrate that is as slim as a mobile phone protection film and a design that allows bending at 40 degrees from the centre.

The EPD is 0.7mm thick, about one-third smaller than existing glass EPDs and at 14 grams is half as light.

The EPDs will appeal to current e-book users who complain about screens being damaged if dropped.

The electronic paper displays are also capable of withstanding break and scratch tests with a small urethane hammer.

The technology is expected to wind its way beyond e-books into smartphones and tablet devices.

Paper-like reading experience

The paper-like reading experience is also believed to reduce eye fatigue and make more efficient use of electricity.

LG developed a technique to utilise the high TFT process employed in general LCD manufacturing with temperatures exceeding 350 degrees in the production of plastic EPDs.

Overcoming these obstacles allowed LG to mass produce the breakthrough devices.

The first mass-produced EPDs will be supplied to display makers in China and completed products will be released in Europe at the beginning of next month.

"With the world’s first plastic EPD, LG Display has once again proven its reputation for leadership and innovation with a product we believe will help greatly popularise the e-book market," said Sang Duck Yeo, head of operations for LG Display’s Mobile/OLED division.

"Based on our success in mass-producing plastic EPD, we are excited as we look toward applying concepts from this experience to future developments like plastic OLED and flexible displays," Yeo said.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com