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Samsung is gearing up to show off a prototype 40-inch, single-sheet, organic light emitting diode (OLED) screen, paving the way for super-skinny TV sets just over an inch thick.

According to CNet, the prototype screen has a 1,280 x 800-pixel resolution and a maximum brightness of 600 NITs, a non-standard measurement of brightness equal to one candela per square metre.

The company plans to combine its larger OLED displays with the results of its research into field emission displays. These television displays use a phosphor coating as the emissive medium, but do not rely on a single electron gun, as with CRT displays. Instead they use an array of fine metal tips, or carbon nanotubes. One point is positioned behind a phosphor dot.

The attraction of the technology is obvious. As well as being incredibly thin, OLEDs have better resolution than liquid crystal displays, and consume less power, since they don't need a backlight. They are already widely used in mobile phones and other small screen devices, but problems with the stability of colour OLED displays has meant they haven't really made much headway into the larger screen markets.

But this is not Samsung's first foray into larger OLED screens. Last year the company demonstrated a 14.1-inch OLED panel with 1,280 x 768 pixel resolution, followed by a 21-inch high-definition screen, with a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080 pixels.

The new screen will see the light of day next week, at the Society of Information Display 2005 International Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition in Boston. ®

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