Seoul, South Korea -
said Thursday that it has started mass production of what it called "the world's first plastic electronic paper display (EPD) for use in e-books."
The 6-inch XGA (1,024 by 768), E Ink, plastic EPD offers a flexible, almost paper-like, reading surface with a plastic substrate that is as slim as cellphone protection film. The flexible design allows bending at a range of 40 degrees from the center of the screen.
Compared to glass EPD of the same size and resolution, LG Display's plastic EPD realizes a thickness of 0.028 inches, which is one-third slimmer than existing glass EPD. It is also less than half the weight, at just half an ounce.
"With the world's first plastic EPD, LG Display has once again proven its reputation for leadership and innovation with a product we believe will help greatly popularize the e-book market," said Sang Duck Yeo, LG Display's mobile/OLED division operations head. "Based on our success in mass-producing plastic EPD, we are excited as we look toward applying concepts from this experience to future developments like plastic OLED and flexible displays."
LG estimated that as much as 10 percent of e-book users have damaged their product screens by accidentally dropping or hitting them. The LG plastic EPD passed repeated damage tests for a drop of 4.9 feet (the average height of reading when standing).
When put through a break/scratch test involving hitting the display with a small urethane hammer, no scratches or breakage resulted, the company said.
As EPD gets thinner, lighter and more durable with the introduction of plastic EPD, e-books will be able to offer certain unique benefits compared to smart devices and tablets, including reduced eye fatigue and more efficient electricity consumption, in addition to lower prices.
LG said it developed a unique technique to utilize the high TFT process, typically employed in general LCD manufacturing and with temperatures exceeding 350 degrees, in the production of its plastic EPD.
By overcoming the obstacles associated with applying the existing production process to heat susceptible plastic, LG Display achieved a breakthrough with the successful mass production of plastic EPD able to maintain strong durability in high temperatures.
LG said the first mass-produced volumes of plastic EPDs will be supplied to ODM companies in China, followed by the release of completed products in Europe at the beginning of next month.