LG Display on Thursday said that it had started mass production of the world's first plastic electronic paper display (EPD) for use in e-book reader readers. The new display is foldable, therefore, very durable, and very thin, which will allow to make e-readers thinner.
The 6" XGA (1024-768), e-ink, plastic EPD is expected to revolutionize the e-book reader market with its advancements in functionality and design. The world's first plastic EPD from LG Display offers users a paper-like reading experience with a plastic substrate that is as slim as cell phone protection film, and a flexible design that allows bending at a range of 40 degrees from the center of the screen. Compared to glass EPD of the same size and resolution, LG Display's plastic EPD realizes a super slim thickness of 0.7mm which is 33% slimmer than existing glass EPD; as well as a weight of 14g which is more than 50% lighter.
E-book reader users have long expressed a desire for more durable EPD, since around 10% of them have damaged their product screens from accidentally dropping or hitting them. When LG Display's plastic EPD was put through repeated drop tests, from 1.5m above the ground or the average height of reading when standing, no damage resulted. 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, E-book readers 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.
"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 popularize the E-book reader market. 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," said Sang Duck Yeo, head of operations for LG Display's mobile/OLED division.
LG Display developed 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.
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.