updated 10:45 am EDT, Thu October 25, 2007
Samsung Window Glass LCD
Samsung is showcasing a new panel technology at the FPD International display expo that should lower the price of LCDs even further, according to a report from the show floor. Called a Soda-Lime panel, the technique would allow the Korean company to make LCDs using glass similar to that used for windows, rather than the specialized glass for current LCDs. Manufacturers would not need to strip out the sodium that normally blocks light and prevents making extra-thin glass, Samsung says. The ability to use an almost ubiquitous glass format would reduce the basic cost of manufacturing an LCD and should pass the savings on to buyers.
Importantly, example LCDs demonstrate at least the same visual quality as with the premium glass, the company boasts. An example 19-inch, standard-ratio display on view at FPD produces a 1,000:1 contrast ratio, a 300cd/m2 brightness level, and 72 percent of the NTSC color range. No special enhancements such as LED backlighting are needed to reach the quality level.
Unlike Samsung's white -LED and 16:9 displays, usable LCDs are expected to start mass production "soon" for shipping products, according to the company. Whether or not the 19-inch display would be the only example to ship first was unclear, as no other models were demonstrated but are likely given Samsung's emphasis on widescreen LCDs in recent months.