Small OLED screens are being used in millions of devices already (like in Samsung’s Galaxy S phones or Sony’s upcoming portable console Vita), but we’re still waiting for large-sized models to hit the mainstream. It’s been four years since Sony offered the XEL-1 (a mini OLED TV) in stores, but the industry has been innovating on LCD screens, for example with LED backlight or 3D, since.
One of the biggest problems is cost: producing big OLED screens has simply been too expensive so far. But now Japan-based Sumitomo Chemical has reportedly developed a technology that makes it possible to mass-produce large OLED TVs at reasonable prices.
According to Japanese biggest business newspaper The Nikkei, Sumitomo uses macro-molecule materials as the main OEL component instead of low-molecular materials that are being used currently (and cost more to produce). As a result, production costs are said to be reduced by up to 50%.
Sumitomo is ready to set up a production facility for the new materials by the end of this year in Osaka before starting production in early 2012.
The company expects the annual output to be enough for the production of four to five million TVs sized at 40 inches. It will offer the materials to TV makers in Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan.