Samsung's OLED Breakthrough
By Mark Frauenfelder, Thu Apr 29 21:45:00 GMT 2004

Mobile device manufacturers (as well as we bleeding-edge users) have been waiting for a breakthrough in OLED displays for years - it looks like Samsung has finally done it.

OLED stands for Organic Light Emitting Electronic Diode. OLEDs have a lot of promise for displays, because they're self-illuminating. That means no costly, heavy, battery-draining (not to mention mercury-filled) backlights like you need to illuminate an LCD display. Images also look great on an OLED display.

Up until now, OLEDs haven't been used for much more than little monochrome external displays (like the kind that show caller ID). That's because they've been hard to manufacture, they weren't good at handling wide temperature variations, and the colors wore out quickly.

But Samsung says its new 65,000 color OLED display can be manufactured as large as 1.7 inches, making it plenty big enough for a mobile phone. And starting in June, Samsung is going to put them in its phones. Can other handset makers be far behind?