Epson OLED at SID 2008

Epson OLED
Size: 8″ (20.3cm)
Pixel Format: 800×480
Brightness: 200 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio: 100,000:1 or greater

Epson OLED 8

Epson showcased some impressive OLED displays during SID. Epson improved the light emitting materials by developing a proprietary element structure resulting in extending the life of the OLED device to more than 50,000 hours (to half brightness). The thickness of the OLED displays that were demonstrated were just 2.8mm (0.11″) thick: extremely thin! Potential applications can range from high-end digital photo frames that can be used at home, restaurants, museums, exhibitions to portable DVD players and as the dash of an automobile.

Epson 8
Epson 8″ OLED for Automotive Applications, Possible UI

I was most impressed by Epson’s OLED displays. Like the company claims, the blacks were almost completely black. I could see the borders of the display but you had to look very very closely. The image above shows how dark the black portions of the OLED display is! Epson did mention that discussions are being held with automotive companies to integrate its OLED display as a dash. That certainly would be very exciting as the following video reveals:

Mr. Satoru Miyashita, General Manager of OLED Development Center, was kind enough to walk me through some of the features of Epson’s OLED displays. Miyashita-san explained that Epson’s OLED displays were manufactured at the company’s G2 R&D fab. He also shared that there are plans to expand OLED production capability by adding a line in the company’s G3 fab located in Tottori. By using a larger G3 fabrication plant, Epson can produce up to 14″ OLEDs. Although the sizes are still limited, within the proper markets, I believe OLED technology has a brilliant future.

Epson 8

The Epson OLED Portable DVD Player prototype was designed by a watch designer according to Miyashita-san. As you can see the design is cool and funky. With portable GPS navigation devices getting to 8″ and larger, Epson has the potential to grab the high-end portion of that market. The last time I visited South Korea, most nice taxis had 7″ GPS devices in addition to larger portable TVs. It was nice being able to watch live TV as I went from Inchon International to Seoul.

Another possibility might be a high-end OLED-based ultra-portable notebook PC! Kind of like an Eee PC but much better looking and with an OLED display instead of a LCD.

I’d like to have a portable OLED-based multimedia player or an ultraportable OLED notebook PC when it comes out. And that’s the thing about these OLEDs: when asked about when we could see these beautiful OLED displays in products the answer was, “Hopefully soon.” I hope so, too!

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