LG Display to start producing flexible E Ink panels on a plastic substrate?

LG Display announced today that they have started to produce 6" E Ink panels on a plastic substrate. Those displays will be used in e-readers, and the first one (from a Chinese based ODM) will be released in Europe next month. The panel features XGA (1024x768) resolution and is only 0.7 mm thick and weighs just 14 grams - half the weight of a glass based E Ink panel.

If true, this will be the first time that a plastic based E Ink is in production, and this means that LGD is quite advanced in its plastic substrate program - which they also plan to use for OLED displays. LG Display is reportedly building a pilot 3.5-Gen (730 × 460 mm) flexible OLED production line. They have ordered the equipment, which will arrive by 3Q 2012, and the line will become active by the end of 2012. It was reported that it will take LG another 1-2 years to fully develop the technology, but LG Display is trying to accelerate the development.

The E Ink display is bendable - it's possible to bend it at a range of 40 degrees from the center of the screen. It's not clear whether the final e-reader will actually offer a bendable screen though. The main advantage of the display (besides being lighter and thinner) is that it's unbreakable. LG says that 10% of e-reader displays are damaged due to falls (or because someone set on them...). The new panels can withstand a fall from 1.5 meters and hitting them with a hammer doesn't even scratch them.

Here's a video released in October showing LG's curved plastic based E Ink panel:

Posted: Mar 29,2012 by Ron Mertens