OLED TV production to hit three million

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OLED TV production to hit three million

Shipments of organic electro-luminescent (OEL) TVs are expected to reach three million by 2011, according to display market analysts.

The technology is seen as the possible driver of a next generation of flat-panel screens to replace LCD and plasma display panel screens.

However, current large OEL screens are only just moving out of the prototype stage, analysts at DisplaySearch reported. 

The organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) that make up an OEL panel emit light, unlike LCD elements. Therefore, unlike an LCD screen, OEL screens do not require a backlight.

This increases brightness and contrast ratio, and reduces power consumption, thickness and weight.

A number of problems remain to be overcome before the displays can reach the mass market, however.

"First of all, we expect medium and small panel manufacturers to establish a volume production technology for active matrix OLED panels and a cost reduction technology as well," said DisplaySearch.

Small production volumes and manufacturing difficulties are keeping prices high. For example, Sony's forthcoming 11in OEL screen will cost about US$700, compared to just US$100 for similar LCD screens. 

Observers expect other display makers to join Sony in the market shortly. Samsung Electronics and a joint venture between Toshiba and Matsushita are expected to enter the market during the next two years. 

Sales of smaller OLED panels, used mainly as secondary displays on some mobile phones, are already booming. DisplaySearch said that sales will grow 35 percent this year to approach 100 million.
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