First impressions from SID 2012

Update: Here's the complete list of OLED related posts and notes from SID 2012

So, SID 2012 is now over. Personally it was a very good show, even though I hear from many exhibitors that it was slow compared to past years. There were a lot of companies showing OLED displays, lighting panels and related products, and it seems that OLEDs are starting to become mainstream. I do plan to post in-depth posts with interesting details of my talks with various OLED companies, but in the meantime, here's my own "best of SID" list.

First and foremost are the Samsung and LG Display OLED TVs. Both companies are showing 55" OLED panels - and both look stunning, in both 2D and 3D. The 3D effects are beautiful, and the black levels and color saturation are top notch. I can't decide which TV is better... we'll have to wait for side-by-side comparison. The LG one has at least one advantage: it's noticeably thinner at 4mm. I'm actually not sure about the Samsung's OLED TV width, and in anyway they say it's not the final design yet. Samsung and LG are taking different approaches for those OLEDs, but for the final customer I think the most important features will be price and design. The quality is superb on both...

Second in my list is UDC's bezel-free transparent lighting panel. This one uses their thin-film encapsulation which enables them to have no bezel. It's very nice looking. UDC had more interesting displays on show such a very thin flexible OLED lighting panel on a metal substrate and released some interesting news during the show, I'll be sure to post about all that soon.

E Ink had a very large booth with dozens of different gadgets and displays. They were showing the Wexler Flex one e-reader which uses LG Display's 6" XGA (1024x768) plastic based flexible E Ink panel. There's no glass in that device at all, which makes it not only shatterproof, but also bendable. Check out my friend Sri from E Ink demonstrating this exciting new device above.

Ignis (in collaboration with RiTdisplay) are showing new a-Si based OLED display prototypes. They are showing the old 3.5" AMOLEDs (which were supposed to be produced back in 2011) and new 20" AMOLED TVs. The TVs aren't perfect yet (they had some bonding errors which caused dead lines) but the quality was very good. Ignis' compensation technology allows AMOLEDs to use an a-Si backplane which should make production easier and cheaper. RiTdisplay are using their existing PMOLED production line for these prototypes. This technology is very interesting.

Finally, I really enjoyed the Mirasol displays on show, especially the 4.3" 1280x720 (343 ppi!) 30Hz display, aimed for mobile phones. It seems that Qualcomm keep pushing back their production plans, but the displays are quite good looking (well, compared to an E Ink display, not an OLED one...).

I haven't yet gone through all my notes and photos yet, and I may have forgotten something - this isn't an official list of any sort. SID did release an official "best of show" award list, which contained five displays, three of whom are OLEDs:

  • LG Display's 55" OLED TV
  • Samsung's 55" OLED TV
  • Fraunhofer's bi-directional OLED microdsiplay HMD evaluation kit (it's now available for 11,000 euro, by the way)
  • Dimenco's eye-tracking, glasses-free 4Kx2K 3D display
  • Ocular's 17" multi-touch projected capacitive touch panel (16 simultaneous touch points)
Posted: Jun 10,2012 by Ron Mertens