Flexible displays

Cambridge, UK-based Plastic Logic and Cambridge, MA-based E Ink have signed a non-exclusive agreement to co-operate on the design and fabrication of flexible all-plastic electronic displays.

The companies announced today that they are to combine their technologies to produce high-resolution active-matrix displays suitable for a range of applications from smart cards and cell phones to wireless electronic readers (e.g. e-books, e-maps, e-newspapers).

The liquid crystal active-matrix displays (AM-LCDs) that are commercially available today are produced with two sheets of heavy, fragile glass that can break when dropped. In contrast, the E Ink and Plastic Logic displays are flexible, thin, light-weight, bright, high contrast and shatterproof.

The companies claim that the combination of imaging film from E Ink and backplanes fabricated using Plastic Logic’s process will enable them to produce high resolution (100dpi in 2005 and up to 150dpi in 2006), large area (A5 in 2005 up to A4 in 2006) sun-light readabkle displays with four levels of greyscale.

Plastic Logic’s manufacturing process enables active matrix backplanes to be ‘printed’ using additive solution-processing and direct-write techniques.

The company is currently expanding its existing plastic electronics mini-fab by installing a 350mm by 350mm prototype line which it will use to work with device-makers to demonstrate advanced product prototypes. It is also evaluating manufacturing partners for production scale-up in 2007.

E Ink provides electronic ink in sheets of imaging film that are suited for flexible display applications due to their thin form factor and inherent flexibility.

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