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Philips demos bendiest LCD yet

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Philips subsidiary Polymer Vision has unwrapped - literally - what it claims is the world's widest yet thinnest, most flexible TFT LCD panel.

The monochrome 4.7in, 320 x 240 display is thin enough to be rolled into a curve with a radius of 2cm, the company said.

PV's trick is to build the display's 76,800-odd transistors onto a plastic base rather than glass, the material used in almost all LCDs currently found in phones, PDAs and notebook PCs.

The active matrix component is just 25 microns thick. Above that is a 200 micron 'electronic ink' panel from E-Ink, a non-volatile display system that contains charged black and white particles. Controlled by an electric field, the particles adhere to the panel, allowing them to stay there when the current is removed. Power is only needed to change the image, not to maintain it, making the technology suitable for very low power applications.

PV's display is still in the research stage - the company doesn't expect to begin pilot commercial production until next year. Right now, PV says it can churn out around 5000 displays a year, enough to allow customers to begin experimenting with the technology in their own products. ®

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