More OLED expected at IFA

By James Wells

BERLIN: The world’s largest combined consumer electronics and whitegoods trade show, IFA, will take place this month in Berlin, and is expected to showcase a series of new technology announcements including the mass production of OLED TVs.

According to the local representative for the exhibition in Australia, Rudi Barth of Barth Trade Consulting, the event will showcase the latest high definition AV and IT products from major companies like Samsung, LG, Panasonic and Sony.

“With everything from giant flat screens to the tiniest TV mobile phones, from mobile media players to complete home cinema – IFA is the place to find fascinating highlights from every area of entertainment,” said Barth.

“IFA 2008 will feature a number of LCD models in housings with a thickness of only 1.5 inches (3.8 cm). And that is just the beginning. The prototypes that are now being shown indicate that they can be made even slimmer: 1 cm (0.4 inch) is the next stage in screen evolution. At the same time screen areas are now available that would have been thought of as impossible only a short while ago, with diagonals of up to 150 inches.”

Barth believed that reinforcing environmental credentials will also be important for the major suppliers.

“Nowadays LCD and plasma TVs consumer between 25 and 35 per cent less energy than they did just three years ago, and when on stand-by they now use less than one watt, which is only a sixth of the energy that they needed in 1997. This can also be illustrated by the fact that a 60 watt incandescent light requires 120 times as much energy as a modern television set on stand-by,” he said.

“At the same time, the industry is constantly achieving more success in its efforts to remove pollutants from the production process. Manufacturers have been applying the European RoHS directive, which prescribes lead-free soldering, for example, as well as prohibiting the use of poisonous flame-retardant materials.

“This development is being applied to an ever-increasing extent. As a result new screen technology is unlocking further potentials for substantially reduced energy consumption. This includes LED backlighting for LCDs and plasma screens with enhanced luminance efficiency, leading to lower energy consumption while retaining the same level of brightness. Moreover larger, more economical OLEDs are likely to go into mass production soon, and commercially viable versions together with a number of prototypes can already be seen at IFA 2008,” said Barth.

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