LG Display on Verge of Launching 15-Inch OLED

LG Display is on the verge of beginning commercial production of a 15-inch OLED (organic light emitting diode) panel that's suitable for use in televisions and laptop computers, the company said Wednesday.

The screen, which is being shown on the sidelines of the International Consumer Electronics Show here in Las Vegas, is just 1.4 millimeters thick and is expected to go into production in June this year.

OLED is an emerging flat-panel display technology that uses an organic material in the pixels that emits its own light, so a backlight isn't needed. That helps make the displays thinner and much less power-hungry. OLED screens also handle fast-moving images better and offer richer color reproduction than current LCDs (liquid crystal displays) and PDPs (plasma display panels).

"It's likely to come in the second half of this year, as soon as we get customers," said Kim Won, director of OLED sales and marketing at LG Display.

The first commercial OLED television, Sony's 11-inch XEL-1, was launched at CES 2008. Several other competitors have followed with prototype OLED TV sets but to date no other company has followed Sony into the commercial market. LG Display said it's in talks with sister-company LG Electronics about putting the screen in a commercial product.

Sony's XEL-1 carries a price tag of around US$2,500 making it a tough sell to many consumers at the best of times and even more so during a recession.

"It's not a good time for us to launch this type of luxurious product because the market is in recession but we think it's time for us to invest in marketing," said Kim. "We have to communicate with customers about advanced products."

The LG widescreen panel has a 1,366 pixel by 768 pixel resolution and has a lifetime of 30,000 hours.

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