LG ディスプレイがプラスチック電子ペーパー・ディスプレイ(EPG)の量産化を発表しました。いわく、量産化は世界初とのこと。ディスプレイは6インチ、1024x768 解像度。ガラスではなくプラスチックを採用することで、40度まで折り曲げられるフレキシブル・ディスプレイになっています。ほかにも従来のガラス電子ペーパー比で、薄さは 0.7mm と 1/3、重さは 14g と 1/2 に。さらに、立って電子書籍を読む時を想定した 1.5m からの連続落下試験でもまったく壊れなかったとアピールしています。薄い・軽い・強いと、確かに電子書籍端末にはぴったりです。

電子ペーパーはまず中国の ODM 企業に提供され、来月早々には欧州で発売の製品に採用される予定。折れ曲げられると分かっていても、折り曲げるには勇気が求められそうです。

LG Display Begins Mass Production of World's First Plastic E-Paper Display

With advancements in functionality and design, Plastic EPD to revolutionize E-Book market

Seoul, Korea (March 29, 2012) – LG Display [NYSE: LPL, KRX: 034220], a leading manufacturer of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display, announced today that it has started mass production of the world's first plastic electronic paper display (EPD) for use in E-Books. The 6" XGA (1024x768), e-ink, plastic EPD is expected to revolutionize the E-Book market with its advancements in functionality and design.

"With the world's first plastic EPD, LG Display has once again proven its reputation for leadership and innovation with a product we believe will help greatly popularize the E-Book market," said Mr. Sang Duck Yeo, Head of Operations for LG Display's Mobile/OLED division. "Based on our success in mass-producing plastic EPD, we are excited as we look toward applying concepts from this experience to future developments like plastic OLED and flexible displays."

Innovations in Functionality and Design
The world's first plastic EPD from LG Display offers users a paper-like reading experience with a plastic substrate that is as slim as cell phone protection film, and a flexible design that allows bending at a range of 40 degrees from the center of the screen. Compared to glass EPD of the same size and resolution, LG Display's plastic EPD realizes a super slim thickness of 0.7mm which is 1/3 slimmer than existing glass EPD; as well as a weight of 14g which is more than 1/2 lighter.

E-Book users have long expressed a desire for more durable EPD, since around 10% of them have damaged their product screens from accidentally dropping or hitting them. When LG Display's plastic EPD was put through repeated drop tests, from 1.5m above the ground or the average height of reading when standing, no damage resulted. When put through a break/scratch test involving hitting the display with a small urethane hammer, no scratches or breakage resulted.

As EPD gets thinner, lighter, and more durable with the introduction of plastic EPD, E-Books will be able to offer certain unique benefits compared to smart devices and tablets, including reduced eye fatigue and more efficient electricity consumption in addition to lower prices.

A Manufacturing Breakthrough
LG Display developed a unique technique to utilize the high TFT process, typically employed in general LCD manufacturing and with temperatures exceeding 350 degrees, in the production of its plastic EPD. By overcoming the obstacles associated with applying the existing production process to heat susceptible plastic, LG Display achieved a breakthrough with the successful mass production of plastic EPD able to maintain strong durability in high temperatures.

The world's first mass-produced plastic EPD from LG Display will first be supplied to ODM companies in China, followed by completed products to be released in Europe at the beginning of next month.