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Asia: Samsung Invests in Next-Gen OLED High-Res

Samsung, (opens in new tab) one of the world's largest plasma display panel makers for HD and ED monitors, is also going tiny--as in cell phone small. The firm has announced plans to invest more than $450 million to build a fourth generation OLED (organic light-emitting diode) production line. Samsung will break ground before Christmas on its 4Gen active-matrix OLED line at its PDP plant in Cheonan, South Korea, according to published reports.

Production is schedule to begin in January 2007, with an expected rollout of at least 20 million high-res mobile phone displays annually. The next-generation OLED process, according to Samsung, is the industry's first to use low-temperature polysilicon as a base material.

Hoping to tap into the current momentum propelled by the sharing of small-screen video content by Hollywood (for a price), Samsung plans to increase annual capacity to 50 million units by 2008 as mobile TV phones and similar portable devices drive demand for high-resolution mobile displays.

Thin Film Transfer (TFT) LCD technology currently represents more than half of the mobile small-screen market. Samsung said its OLED process can switch pixels a thousand times faster--enough to permit ghost-free moving images. Market researcher Display Search projects the world OLED market is expected to grow to more than $4.5 billion by 2008.