The Complexity of OLEDs


Organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) display technology is the only serious current challenger to the LCD's hegemony in small- and medium-sized displays, and the market projections in that segment are very encouraging for OLED proponents, as Barry Young explains in this issue of Information Display. Barry is most interested, however, in addressing early claims that OLEDs would be a "disruptive" technology that would substantially replace TFT-LCDs, and he does that with typical directness.

But the OLED contingent, particularly its polymer-LED (PLED) segment, is not limiting itself to small- and medium-sized displays. Jonathan Halls brings us up to date on ink-jet printing of full-color PLED displays. It has taken years of development, but the first commercial ink-jet manufacturing lines are scheduled to start producing products in 2005. Although the first products will be small displays, the makers of PLED materials and manufacturing equipment are already planning Gen 7 facilities.

It is no surprise that substantial OLED investment and development have occurred in Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, and China. But Adrian P. Burden describes why and how the small island nation of Singapore is planning on leveraging its strengths, and overcoming its small size, to become a player in the international OLED arena. Singapore could become an inspiration to other areas wishing to establish a position in the manufacture of advanced display technologies.

Turning to our international exhibition coverage, SMAU has long billed itself as Europe's second-largest information and communications technology show. Bryan Norris and Michelle Barnes look at the display-related items shown at SMAU for the European market, and comment on some interesting product, marketing, and tariff issues. If the organizers continue to push SMAU in the direction of gaming and consumer electronics, will there be any European IT show left to challenge Germany's monumental CeBIT?

Finally, in his guest column, Victor Pellegrini Mammana expresses the view that although a lot of investment money was spent on field-emission displays (FEDs) too early and too fast, the concept still has a lot to offer.

Our next issue is the combined March/April issue, which will contain our preview of the exciting 2005 SID International Symposium, Seminar & Exhibition to be held May 22–27 in Boston. SID 2005 will feature several innovations, so we encourage you to learn about them in our next issue.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. You can reach me by e-mail at kwerner@, fax at 203/855-9769, or phone at 203/853-7069. The contents of upcoming issues of ID are available on the SID Web site (