Sony might not have the rosiest picture when it comes to their latest earnings call, but that does not mean the company has stopped innovating. No sir, Sony’s latest announcement at the 49th SID International Symposium, Seminar & organic Exhibition (SID 2011) concerns a flexible electronic paper (e-paper) which is driven by organic TFTs (thin-film transistors), and to put it in layman’s terms – it offers the benefit of an e-paper that can be bent to a curvature radius of at least 5mm.
Sony went so far as to bend the prototype of their new e-paper in an interview, and those who were around to witness the event let out a whoop of cheers. The prototype black-and-white flexible e-paper will still rely on E Ink Corp’s electrophoretic front plane laminate, where it will feature the following specifications :-
- Screen size: 13.3 inches
- Pixel count: 1,600 x 1,200
- Pixel size: 169μm x 169μm
- Resolution: 150ppi
- Aperture ratio: 94%
- Contrast ratio: 10:1
- Gradation: 16
- Thickness: 120μm
Peri-Xanthenoxanthene (PXX) was the semiconductor layer of choice for the organic TFT, and the same material was also used in Sony’s OLED panel which can be wrapped around a pen that was announced last year. Will we see more flexible e-books down the road? Absolutely, but the only issue is when, and how much.
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