updated 04:25 pm EST, Wed December 1, 2010
Samsung intros PLS as improvement on LCDs
Samsung today unveiled a new form of LCD technology that could improve image quality even beyond existing IPS displays. Known as Super PLS (Plane to Line Switching), it changes the shape of the pixels to emit more light from the sides. The technique doubles the typical viewing angle with a bright picture but also improves the overall brightness by 10 percent.
Along with the improved image, Samsung has also managed to reduce the manufacturing costs by 15 percent compared to IPS, which should reduce the cost of high-end displays and encourage its use in mobile hardware. Current Super PLS displays can go up to 1280x800 resolution and would be effective in anything from smartphones to tablets and ultraportable notebooks.
Samsung plans to start mass production in winter 2011, but it's unclear who would be a customer beyond itself. The Korean firm has 30 patents related to the technology and would have to grant licenses to LG or other competitors to use Super PLS themselves.
Implementing the technology may give Samsung an at least temporary edge over Apple. The Mac designer has been one of the few champions of the typically higher quality but expensive IPS technology in its hardware, using it for all of its current iMacs as well as the iPad and iPhone 4. Samsung has tried to tout Super AMOLED as superior but has lost in objective testing as the accuracy and resolution of the iPhone 4 were preferred over Samsung's somewhat exaggerated colors. Super PLS would produce a better image than IPS but without losing the more neutral colors.
Apple currently has a long-term contract with LG Display for screens and may be locked out of Super PLS unless LG licenses from Samsung or else develops its own alternative. [via OLED-Display]