NEC has integrated an Oled (organic light-emitting diode) display and the drivers necessary to run it on a single piece of glass, the company announced last week.

This prototype system-on-glass Oled, which can display up to 260,000 colours at a resolution of 176x184 pixels, can be smaller and cheaper than similar displays with separate driver chips, the company said.

Oled displays — also called Oelds (organic electroluminescent displays) — use organic compounds that emit light when exposed to an electric current. This eliminates the need for the backlight required by LCDs (liquid crystal display). Oleds are brighter, respond faster to video, and have more contrast and wider viewing angles than LCDs.

Until now, external IC (integrated circuit) drivers were needed for a TFT (thin film transistor) Oled display with 260,000 colours, according to Mitsumasa Fukumoto, an NEC spokesman.

NEC developed techniques that allow current drivers and other circuits necessary to accurately display 260,000 colours, to be embedded in the module. By eliminating external parts, the display can be manufactured at lower cost, Fukumoto said.

"Because of the external parts when, for example, used for a mobile phone, framing around the display would have been necessary before, but the new developments can get rid of the frame, show the display in full size, and make the handset thinner," he said.
The system-on-glass technology was developed by NEC in co-operation with Samsung NEC Mobile Displays, a joint venture between NEC and Samsung established in 2000 for Oled display development.