Boost for OLED production

Sony Corp. is teaming up with other leading manufacturers in a Japanese government-initiated consortium to boost the sizes and speed to market for Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) screens. Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry is putting about $33m into the project that will run until 2012.
Sony has produced some extremely attractive production units of 11” for laptops and other portable devices, but sizes are extremely modest. Now Sony has linked with an existing j-v between Toshiba and Matsushita (Panasonic) as well as others in a push to see the technology challenges overcome and to see screen sizes of up to 40” emerge. The other consortium members include Idemitsu Kosan Co., and Sumitomo Chemical.

The appeal for all the Japanese manufacturers is that OLEDs are highly battery efficient giving off plenty of light for minimum power demand. They do not need backlighting which means they are also slim and lightweight. At 36” and above the theory is that they need not be the heavyweight beasts that existing LCD and Plasma units are.

Meanwhile, in South Korea arch-rival Samsung is also working on its OLEDs and said last week it would also boost production six-fold this year.