FlexEnable’s glass-free organic LCD (OLCD) delivers high-brightness, long lifetime flexible displays that are low cost and scalable to large areas, while also being thin, lightweight and shatterproof.
LCD accounts for more than 90% of displays sold today, but they are made with glass meaning that they cannot meet the conformability, thinness and robustness requirements in many new applications. A new disruptive glass-free display technology – organic LCD (OLCD) – is now making high-quality, low-cost flexible displays available to all. It is manufactured on low-cost plastic substrates and uses inherently flexible organic transistors instead of the rigid amorphous silicon transistors typically used in glass LCDs.
Why choose OLCD?
OLCD is a plastic display technology with full colour and video-rate capability. It enables product companies to create striking designs and realise novel use cases by merging the display into the product design rather than accommodating it by the design.
Unlike flexible OLED displays, which are predominantly adopted in flagship smartphones and smartwatches, OLCD opens up the use of flexible displays to a wider range of mass-market applications. It has several attributes that make it better suited than flexible OLED to applications across large-area consumer electronics, smart home appliances, automotive, notebooks and tablets, and digital signage.
Conformable and shapeable
OLCD can be conformed and wrapped around surfaces and cut into non-rectangular shapes during the production process. Holes can be also added to fit around the functional design of the system – for example around knobs and switches.
High brightness and long lifetime
As with glass-based LCD, the lifetime of OLCD is independent of the display brightness, because it is achieved through transmission of a separate light source (the backlight), rather than emission of its own light. For example OLCD can be made ultra-bright for viewing in daylight conditions without affecting the display lifetime – an important requirement for vehicle surface-integrated displays.
OLCD is the lowest cost flexible display technology – it is three to four times lower cost that flexible OLED today. This is because it makes use of existing display factories and supply chain and deploys a low temperature process that results in low manufacturing costs and high yield.
Unlike other flexible display approaches, OLCD is naturally scalable to large sizes. It can be made as small or as large as the manufacturing equipment used for flat panel displays allows.
Enables bezel-free displays
The flexibility of OLCD allows an ultra-narrow bezel to be implemented by folding down the borders behind the display. This brings huge value in applications like notebooks and tablets where borderless means bigger displays for the same sized device. The bezel size allowed by OLCD is independent of the display size or resolution. In addition, OLCD can make a notebook up to 100g lighter and 0.5mm thinner.
Route to ultra-high contrast dual cell displays
OLCD is the key to the fabrication of ultra-high contrast dual cell displays with true pixel level dimming, offering OLED-like performance at a fraction of the cost. The extremely thin OLCD substrate brings advantages in cost, viewing angle and module thickness compared to glass displays. At the same time OLCD retains the flexibility required for applications such as surface-integrated automotive displays.
Due to its unique properties, OLCD has the potential to transform how and where displays are used in products. The videos below give a glimpse into this innovative technology.
Advantages of plastic OLCD over glass LCD
OLCD brings the benefits of being thin, light, shatterproof and conformable, while offering the same quality and performance as traditional glass LCDs. The mechanical advantages of plastic OLCD over glass LCD are further enhanced by the technology’s excellent optical performance, much of which originates from the extreme thinness of plastic TAC substrates compared to glass.
Sourcing OLCD for your product
FlexEnable licenses the processes for OLCD production to display manufacturers. OLCD has already been adopted by a leading display manufacturer in China with first production expected in early 2020.
Companies interested in using OLCD in their products can take advantage of our ProductEnable service and OLCD Evaluation Kits. We work closely with ProductEnable partners to create exciting product designs and use cases as well as supporting them with a route to volume manufacturing.
Typical applications and markets:
|Automotive||Aerospace||Digital signage||Mobile devices||Smart devices||Wearables|
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