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Kodak, Sanyo To Produce OEL Flat-Panel Displays

Tokyo – Kodak and Sanyo Electric today revealed plans to manufacture an advanced form flat-panel display based on organic electroluminscent (OEL) technology.

Designed for use in handheld PCs, cell phones and eventually televisions, the OEL technology differs from the transistor-based LCD by passing electricity through layers of individual carbon-based organic elements that emit light up when electrified. This process is much more power efficient than LCD, according to Kodak, making it useful for portable devices.

Kodak owns many of the patents for the technology, but plans to license it out. The OEL production venture with Sanyo has that company owning 66 percent and Kodak the remaining shares. Volume production of OEL displays is expected to start in February 2002. Pricing was not available.

Several other companies, including Sony, Toshiba and Samsung are expected to enter the market next year. Sony has already demonstrated that the technology can work in large formats by building a 13-inch OEL panel, while Samsung said it has developed a 15-inch version.