CES to showcase latest OLED tech

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The giant Consumer Electronics Show (CES) opens in Las Vegas to “fully vaccinated” visitors on January 5th. This year’s show will close on January 7th, and most expect the event to be lass frantic than usual because of Covid.

Certainly there will be fewer key presentations. BMW, Intel, AMD, TikTok, Twitter, GM, Google, Panasonic, T-Mobile, Amazon, Lenovo, Mercedes, Facebook/Meta and Microsoft have already cancelled plans to be physically present at the show. Worryingly, Las Vegas is proving to be a hot spot in terms of infections. Masks will be required to be worn for the show.

“Given our comprehensive health measures, coupled with lower attendance and social distancing measures, we are confident that attendees and exhibitors can have a socially distanced but worthwhile and productive event in Las Vegas, or while experiencing it online,” said CES in a December 24th Tweet.

However, despite some missing exhibitors, there will still be plenty to view. South Korea’s LG has made much these past few weeks unveiling their 2022 range of OLED displays. The same with Samsung. As Bob Raikes explains in his latest issue of Display Daily, “OLED had a good year, with LG Display’s Chinese fabrication plant boosting output and increasing its share in the premium TV market. Apparently bowing to this success, there have been strong rumours recently that Samsung will buy OLEDs from LG Display for TV applications. If it is successful with its QD-OLED (and some production of panels is reported to have started), the combination of OLED and QD-OLED should give Samsung an increased share of the premium TV market.”

Raikes adds: “Improving brightness and lifetime is the next big target for OLED makers. If Samsung goes ahead with a G8.5 OLED fab for IT applications, that will introduce the technology to monitors and boost the share in notebooks and tablets. Having said that, just this week, LG Electronic’s 27″ high end ($3K) OLED monitor using inkjet printed panels from JOLED has just appeared in stores in the US after a long gestation period.”

CES will be showcasing these developments along with impressive units that are transparent despite being enabled with HDR and Wider Color Gamut functionality.

Samsung, for example, will unveil its Micro LED and Neo QLED displays. Micro LED uses micrometre-sized LED lights to eliminate the backlight and colour filters utilised in conventional displays. Compared to OLED displays, Micro LED displays are claimed to have higher brightness and a wider range of colours. The new LED technology does not have luminance decay issues commonly found on OLED displays. With a higher density than normal LED TVs, Micro LED is suitable for displaying ultra-high-resolution video content.

LG, in particular, is making a lot of noise with its OLED EX development which it describes as a ‘next generation’ unit with deuterium-enhanced screen and personalised algorithm-based ‘EX Technology,’ which helps boost the innovative display’s overall picture quality by enhancing brightness up to 30 per cent compared to conventional OLED displays.

Indeed, OLED has now been around (albeit in early near-experimental and very highly-priced forms) since 2013. LG says: “OLED EX is the result of the unparalleled knowledge and knowhow the company has gained over nearly ten years of developing OLED displays, created to deliver the most lifelike images that transcend the limitations of a conventional display.”

The use of deuterium in a display is a major change – and probably won’t help bring prices down. As LG explains: “Deuterium compounds are used to make highly efficient organic light-emitting diodes that emit stronger light. LG Display has successfully converted the hydrogen elements present in organic light emitting elements into stable deuterium and managed to apply the compounds to OLED EX for the first time. Deuterium is twice as heavy as normal Hydrogen, and only a small amount exists in the natural world – as only one atom of Deuterium is found in about 6,000 ordinary Hydrogen atoms. LG Display has worked out how to extract deuterium from water and apply it to organic light-emitting devices. When stabilised, the Deuterium compounds allow the display to emit brighter light while maintaining high efficiency for a long time.”

Quite how long “a long time” actually is will emerge over time. Early OLEDs were criticised for ‘burn in’ on screens (officially termed ’image retention’) and only conventional use will prove – or disprove – the use of deuterium in screen manufacture. In 2013, LG Display’s first year of starting mass-production of OLED TV displays, the company sold 200,000 units and by early last year recorded accumulated sales of 10 million units. In the two years since then, the company’s accumulated sales have doubled to surpass 20 million units globally.

CES will no doubt showcase the latest in OLED – in all its iterations – as well as the other display technologies.

Also standby for a major push from the major display manufacturers for 8K sets.


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