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LG: big, bendy e-paper screens out by year's end

Impervious to chip fat, vinegar?

LG's display developing subsidiary will begin mass-producing 9.7in colour e-paper panels and 19in monochrome but flexible e-paper screens by the end of the year.

LG Display, which makes the 9.7in in-plane switching (IPS) LCD screen used in the Apple iPad, made the forecast in its latest filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

LG showed off its 19in bendy screen back in January this year, pitching the non-volatile display - what it's showing stays there when the power is cut - as the basis for e-newspapers of the future.

If the display is cheap enough, that might work. But can colour e-paper win out against colour LCD? That seems much less certain. Earlier this year, ujio Noguchi, the Deputy President of Sony’s digital reading business, said the technology isn't yet up to the task.

It may be some time before e-paper can present an image as colourfully as LCD can - and be able to handly rapidly refreshing moving images too. Pixel Qi's display can, but it's based on LCD technology rather than e-ink.

Samsung has shown off colour e-paper capable of displaying video this year, but it's so convinced that the technology has legs that this week it said it's pulling out of the e-paper business.

That leaves fans eagerly awaiting video-capable colour e-book readers hoping for further news from Fujitsu, which, like Samsung, demo'd such a panel this year. ®

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