LG Plastic E-Paper Display

Books and paper are continually being phased out by technology and e-books and LG has now announced a six-inch display that promises to "revolutionize the e-book market."

The malleable plastic display sports a resolution of 1024 x 768 and can bend at an angle of up to 40 degrees. At just 0.7 millimeters thick, it's about one-third thinner than similar glass displays, and weighs in at 14 grams -- about half the weight of its competition(glass). LG also claims that the display is super durable, as evidenced by a series of successful drop tests from a height of 1.5 meters. The plan going forward is to supply the display to ODMs in China, in the hopes of bringing final products to Europe by "the beginning of next month." Below is the press release from LG.

Electronic paper uses minimal power and only consumes battery when the display is being changed, like via a page flip, and has been employed in electronic book readers like the Amazon Kindle, which thus far has not been available with a color screen. Color e-paper has been shown off before by E-Ink, but observers say the results were underwhelming. For its part, LG has shown off a 14-inch A4 size color display capable of 16.7 million colors, though analysts are uncertain if color e-paper could replace the more power hungry color LCD with its quicker refresh rate in the near future. LG also makes color LCD screens as well, like the 9.7-inch IPS iPad display.

Press Release:
LG Display Begins Mass Production of World's First Plastic E-Paper Display

With advancements in functionality and design, Plastic EPD to revolutionize E-Book market

Seoul, Korea (March 29, 2012) – LG Display [NYSE: LPL, KRX: 034220], a leading manufacturer of thin-film transistor liquid crystal display, announced today that it has started mass production of the world's first plastic electronic paper display (EPD) for use in E-Books. The 6" XGA (1024x768), e-ink, plastic EPD is expected to revolutionize the E-Book market with its advancements in functionality and design.

"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 Mr. Sang Duck Yeo, Head of Operations for LG Display's Mobile/OLED division. "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."

Innovations in Functionality and Design

The world's first plastic EPD from LG Display offers users a paper-like reading experience with a plastic substrate that is as slim as cell phone protection film, and a flexible design that 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 super slim thickness of 0.7mm which is 1/3 slimmer than existing glass EPD; as well as a weight of 14g which is more than 1/2 lighter.

E-Book users have long expressed a desire for more durable EPD, since around 10% of them have damaged their product screens from accidentally dropping or hitting them. When LG Display's plastic EPD was put through repeated drop tests, from 1.5m above the ground or the average height of reading when standing, no damage resulted. When put through a break/scratch test involving hitting the display with a small urethane hammer, no scratches or breakage resulted.

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.

A Manufacturing Breakthrough

LG Display 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.


The world's first mass-produced plastic EPD from LG Display will first be supplied to ODM companies in China, followed by completed products to be released in Europe at the beginning of next month.

The company is also looking to bring a flexible 19-inch monochrome e-ink display to the market. A flexible display of this size could potentially target newspaper readers, much like how the 6-inch displays on current e-readers target books. The color e-ink display would be geared towards magazine subscribers.

Its impossible to not see the progression in technology and I'm excited to see this kind of thing on the market.  We'll see how durable it is once its been out for a while.

Out with the old...in with the new!