With the e-reader market growing at a rapid pace, showing consumers that reading is still one of the preferred activities of end-users worldwide, e-reading-related products have begun to emerge one after another. However, so far, the only offerings made have been new e-readers or new types of e-paper, with the form factor and general design of the products remaining quite similar. LG seems to have distinguished itself from the fold by offering a solution that is large, thin, light and flexible.
According to Digitimes, LG Display has been working on a 19-inch, flexible e-paper. This translates into an e-ink display about the size of a newspaper or an A3 sheet. The developers used a metal foil instead of a glass substrate in order to confer on the device the ability to recover its original shape after being bent. In addition, LG used the gate-in-panel technology (GIP) to improve this flexibility by integrating the gate driver IC onto the panel itself. Without this procedure, the IC would have had to be built into the side of the panel, hindering the bending.
"Our development of the world's largest flexible display has opened up a new market in the next-generation display sector of e-paper," CTO and Executive VP of LG Display, In Jae Chung, said. "As the e-paper market is growing at a rapid pace, LG Display will continue to deliver new value to customers and the market through industry-leading technologies and differentiated products."
The exact dimensions of the e-paper sheet are of 250x400mm and the thinness is of only 0.3 mm. In addition, the flexible sheet weighs only 130 grams and is optimized for reading e-newspapers. Finally, durability and display qualities are granted by the very metal foil substrate used in the product's construction.
It is unclear what plans LG has for this product, but, currently, it is reported that the company's plans include mass production of an 11.5-inch, flexible e-paper in the first half of the ongoing year. This move is consistent with DisplaySearch's prediction that the e-book market will grow from last year's US$370 to US$1.2 billion in 2011 and even to as much as US$1.73 billion in 2015.