It's been eons since brands like Philco (who?), RCA and Sony built TV sets in our neck of the woods. Still, serious research into TV display design continues at regional high tech concerns, with notable results now coming to the fore.
DuPont, for one, has just announced breakthroughs in the production of big screen Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) flat panel displays. The Wilmington-based giant has signed a licensing agreement with a "leading Asian manufacturer" to bring the tech to market.
There's been serious buzz in recent years about how much better AMOLED is than LCD for TV sets. AMOLED screens are brighter, the colors quite vivid, the off-angle viewing much better and energy consumption lower. In some ways, OLED is more like plasma. There is no backlight as with LCD, and each pixel is a self-contained light source that turns totally off, producing "infinite black" levels of contrast.
Until now, though, complicated production with high material costs and low yields has made it difficult for even the Sonys, LGs and Samsungs of the world to successfully produce large (or even small) TV sets using AMOLED. Only the small screens of mobile smartphones now feature the tech.
But after years of research, DuPont says it has licked those shortcomings, using refined chemistry and a simplified methodology for painting panel layers. In a white paper, DuPont says reliable production is now possible of huge "Gen 8" (factory line) sized AMOLED sheets which can then be cut up into multiple big screen displays.
Who's DuPont's new manufacturing partner? There's speculation it could be Samsung, currently the biggest user of AMOLED in mobile phones. Just last week, it came out that Samsung was abandoning a new tech panel development partnership with RealD - perhaps seeing more potential in this?
Also making news is Universal Display Corporation. Based in Ewing, N.J., this R&D firm has jumped out of the pack with high efficiency phosphorescent OLED technology for both eco-friendly displays and white lighting (an area DuPont is also exploring.)
Already being applied in a variety of cellphones and multimedia players, PHOLED tech boasts a unique four color sub-pixel architecture and has now been tweaked to achieve an operating lifetime of 20,000 hours for a display - a two time improvement over last year's products.
FYI, Universal Display Corp touts DuPont as a patent licensee. UDC also has been in the news with its futuristic, flexible OLED displays and has just made a deal with Panasonic to apply its expertise in lighting products.