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Japan's Dai Nippon Printing has come up with a low cost, quick way to make organic electroluminescent (OEL) flat panel displays.

Instead of glass, the printing firm uses plastic film, according to a Reuter's report.

OELs are better than LCDs because they're thinner, offer higher resolutions, they use less power and they're lighter. A plastic OEL would be even lighter and less likely to break.

As Sony is already contemplating large OELs for TVs and computer screens - the displays are more in favour in car radios, and there's a move to getting them in mobile phones* - Dai Nippon's process should help get flat panels onto desktops faster than expected.

The company said its process can slash OEL production time by 90 per cent. It aims to commercialise the process by 2003. ®

* Simon Rockman, publisher of What Mobile, tells us only one phone has an OEL, the US Motorola P8787.

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