HP Demos Rollup Flexible Displays (w/ Video)

March 25, 2010 by John Messina weblog
Current flexible displays use a batch cookie cutter process for manufacturing. A new production method called Self-Aligned Imprint Lithography (SAIL) will streamline production and reduce cost.

(PhysOrg.com) -- The Flexible Display Center, at Arizona State University, hopes to have flexible displays ready for test trials in approximately three years. The possibilities of using flexible displays are endless and one day will be used in many portable devices such as e-readers, cell phones, and tablets.

The people at hardware.info recently saw one of HP’s flexible screens rolled up and placed into a poster tube. HP’s CTO, Phil McKinney states that the is not designed to be rolled up. The display would only survive being rolled up about six times before it would start to malfunction. The screens are printed on flexible plastic sheets of Mylar material and could be easily rolled during the manufacturing process.

First demo of HP's new flexible display technology demo by Phil McKinney (HP’s CTO)

The displays can be mass produced by using a production method called Self-Aligned Imprint (SAIL). By manufacturing the displays in the form of rolls instead of sheets makes the production method more cost effective.

The flexible display is not intended to be a roll up screen but a lighter and more compact display.

HP’s manufacturing process, for the prototype, allows for the fabrication of arrays on a flexible plastic material. The displays would then be created using a roll-to-roll manufacturing process in a similar way like a newspaper is printed in the press. This compares to the current method used today as a batch process where displays are cookie cut.

Carl Taussig director of Information Surfaces at HP Labs stated, “In addition to providing a lower-cost process, SAIL technology represents a more sustainable, environmentally sensitive approach to producing electronic displays. We want to lower the costs of traditional flat panel displays and increase their functionality.”

Here the fabrication of thin film transistor arrays can be seen on a flexible plastic material.

HP is hoping to use this technology to offer lighter and more compact devices such as e-readers and tablets. The head of HP technology is expecting, in about two years, to have the first products on the market and in about three years to have mass production.

Explore further: New manufacturing process represents next step in flexible, liquid crystal display technology

More information: flexdisplay.asu.edu/
via HardwareInfo

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not rated yet Mar 25, 2010
Sorry but why even mention that it rolls if it's not supposed to be rolled?
not rated yet Mar 25, 2010
Because it can be rolled at manufacture and then shipped rolled, it just can't be re-rolled. Since it's a prototype, improvements will most likely allow them to be rolled many times eventually.
not rated yet Mar 25, 2010
I thought that the whole point of flexible displays was that they could be rolled up to be very small? I understand the value in lightweight displays, but they'll need to make them roll up like a scroll for them to be a truly revolutionary technology.
not rated yet Mar 26, 2010
Absolutely agreed. The title, as per the usual, is a misnomer. 'You can roll them people, just don't pass 6 times or you're screwed'. And to think the title got me all excited. Ah well, it's a step in the right direction. Plus, I bet it'll get here before sustainable hot fusion.
not rated yet Mar 31, 2010

Think of the possibilities: Mass produced Torahs. I'm getting totally verklemmt

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