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Samsung has devised a 40-inch panel for that could lead to television sets that measure a little more than an inch thick, CNET News reported.

The Korean electronics giant is expected this week to show off a prototype 40in panel made from a single-sheet Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED). OLED panels consume less power than traditional flat panels because, among other reasons, they don’t require a backlight.

OLED displays also offer higher resolution than liquid crystal displays (LCDs). So far, OLED panels have been incorporated into cell phones and other devices with small screens.

Creating television-size panels is considerably trickier, but Samsung has begun to produce larger prototypes, making the possibility more realistic. Last year, it showed off a 14.1in OLED panel with a resolution of 1280 pixels by 768 pixels and followed that up with a 21in screen capable of high-definition resolution (1920 pixels by 1080 pixels).

The latest prototype, CNET reported, has a 1280-by-800-pixel resolution and a maximum screen brightness of 600 nits (A NIT is a measurement of light in candelas per meter square). The black-and-white contrast ratio is 5000:1. The panel measures 2.2cm thick, and can be fit into televisions measuring less than three centimeters, Samsung said.

These thin screens will be paired, potentially, with another Samsung project on field emission display televisions. In these televisions, thousands of carbon nanotubes, or some other small components, shoot electrons at a screen to create a picture. If successful, FED televisions will be thinner than current flat-panel televisions and provide better resolution.

Samsung is expected to show off the panel at the Society of Information Display 2005 International Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition in Boston, starting on Tuesday, May 24.

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