Bend-it e-books get real with EPD in factory mode

Mar 30, 2012 by Nancy Owano report

(PhysOrg.com) -- LG Display has set the production clock ticking for a plastic EPD (electronic paper display) product which in turn is expected to set e-book marketability fast-forward. In an announcement Thursday, Korea-based LG Display, which manufactures thin film transistor liquid crystal display, said it has already started up mass production of EPD for e-books. That leaves little guesswork as to the form factor and no suspicions that LG Display might instead be sending out vapor about a futuristic project that is still in R&D.

The company press release says the EPD will be supplied to companies in China followed by completed products for release in Europe in early April. What’s more, some reports Thursday said the plastic displays were already being shipped to factories in China with target dates for completed products in April to debut in Europe. There was no word yet about any timetable being set for America. The report said it had begun producing six-inch e-ink panels on a plastic substrate for a Chinese-based ODM (original design manufacturer), for an end product with a release date of April, and that the end product would be in Europe.

The company credits its production-ready success to a “manufacturing breakthrough” surmounting obstacles with temperatures over 350 degrees in LCD manufacturing. LG Display said its plastic EPD can maintain “strong durability” in high temperatures.

The key talking point is "bendable." The black and white electronic-ink product can bend at a range of 40 degrees from the center of the screen. This is an e-ink plastic screen that is 0.7mm thick, weighs 14g, and has slim protective film. The company’s comments regarding these details are that the product achieves “a super slim” thickness of 0.7mm which is one-third slimmer than existing glass EPD; and its weight of 14g is more than one-half lighter.

The company maintains that this will help “greatly popularize" the e-book market,” in the words of Sang Duck Yeo, who heads operations for ’s Mobile/OLED division. The panel features an XGA 1024 by 768-pixel resolution. LG assures that the new screen offers a paper-compatible reading experience. The company says that “As EPD gets thinner, lighter, and more durable with the introduction of plastic EPD, 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.”

While thin and light, the display was subjected to extensive stress testing of the display, said LG. Testers dropped it from a height of five feet and they whacked it with a urethane mallet. They said there was no breakage and no scratches. This might become a key selling point with LG's plastic product, considering the dismay of some e-reader owners in the past who praise their e-readers for being light and easy on the eyes but also report disappointment over cracked or scratched screens.

Explore further: Successful read/write of digital data in fused silica glass with high recording density

More information: Correction: 0.7mm thick

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User comments : 14

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nanotech_republika_pl
not rated yet Mar 30, 2012
.7 mm, not 7 mm, right?
"This is an e-ink plastic screen that is 7mm thick, weighs 14g, and has slim protective film. The companys comments regarding these details are that the product achieves a super slim thickness of 0.7mm which is one-third slimmer than existing glass EPD; and its weight of 14g is more than one-half lighter."
Sonhouse
not rated yet Mar 30, 2012
Maybe they changed it but I read it as "0.7mm"
nanotech_republika_pl
not rated yet Mar 30, 2012
Yes. They corrected it.
double
not rated yet Mar 30, 2012
Is this color? Because from the pic it looks to be black and white.
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2012
With a couple of dozen books on a USB stick that would make one hell of a travel accessory.
The ebook readers currently on the market just seem so clumsy that I never got around to buying one. But this thing would probably make me think twice....even though I'm not known for whacking my books with a mallet.
packrat
1 / 5 (2) Mar 30, 2012
I will be happy when they get them here.... I got my wife an ebook reader for Christmas and she broke it 2 weeks later by dropping it. The screen cracked. This would solve that kind of problem!
Sanescience
4 / 5 (4) Mar 30, 2012
It is only a matter of time before there are reports of people trying to cut coupons out of flexible screens that look like newspapers.
MachinegunDojo
1 / 5 (1) Mar 31, 2012
It is only a matter of time before there are reports of people trying to cut coupons out of flexible screens that look like newspapers.


You could also says it's a matter of time till such an idea actually works!
guesta0
not rated yet Mar 31, 2012
You could stick it over your windshield and get interesting info. It could be put over lots of places and be used as a TV-like system, being wirelessly connected to some source. With the right improvements, it should be able to cover a whole wall or window in your home and at will give you the info you're looking for.
Kedas
not rated yet Mar 31, 2012
I think a good working colour version of EPD is much more important than if you can bend it or not.
On the other hand reducing the weight is also very important for e-readers.
Noumenon
1 / 5 (4) Mar 31, 2012
Now if they could just make a stack of them and bind them together, then..... no wait,... never mind.
Newbeak
not rated yet Mar 31, 2012
I wonder how much bulk the control electronics and battery will add?
Green_Dragon
not rated yet Apr 01, 2012
What do you mean antialias? I bought my gf a kindle and i found it pretty light and slim, ableit this is before a case
wwqq
not rated yet Apr 06, 2012
If I was looking for a reader, I'd want one with a display that doesn't bend and with a little weight to it(correlate with battery life, sturdyness...).