Sony demonstrated a 56-inch 4K OLED (organic light-emitting diode) television at The International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada this week. The OLED panel used in this prototype was jointly developed with Taiwanese company AU Optronics Corp. (AUO)
The Ultra HD TV achieves 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) by using the latest oxide semiconductor TFTs and Sony’s own ‘Super Top Emission’ technologies. Up until now, in order to force light through the OLED layer, OLED TVs used low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) thin-film transistors (TFTs). However, there were some challenges inherent in the manufacture of large OLED displays.
Using oxide semiconductor TFTs Sony has been able to produce this new larger display. The new OLED component’s structure also incorporates Sony’s own ‘Super Top Emission’ technology, which has been successfully incorporated in other products already introduced into the market. This ‘Super Top Emission’ technology has a high aperture ratio and enables light to be extracted efficiently from the structure’s OLED layer. By combining two Sony developed technologies, Sony has been able to overcome some of these challenges. This prototype delivers all of the features expected from OLED TVs, such as high contrast, brightness, rapid video image response time and rich images produced even at wide viewing angles, all packaged in a large 4K resolution panel.
Sony has long been actively involved in the product development and mass production of OLED displays. Beginning with the release of the world’s first 11-inch OLED television in 2007, Sony went on to release 17” and 25” monitors for professional applications in 2011. On the research and development front, Sony has given presentations on the results of its research in process (manufacturing) technologies for mid and large-sized panels as well as presenting research findings on oxide semiconductor TFTs and flexible organic TFTs. Sony is also actively working on next-generation OLED technologies.
Technological specifications of the exhibited 4K OLED TV prototype
- Panel size: 56-inch
- Number of pixels: 3,840 x 2,160
- Display elements: OLED (organic light-emitting diode)
- Drive circuit: Oxide semiconductor TFT
- Special structural characteristics: Super Top Emission
- Other Characteristics: undisclosed
Sony says they will continue to research OLED technology with the goal of commercializing its 4K OLED televisions. In the meantime Sony will release 4K LED HDTVs (not OLED) in 2013 with their just announced XBR-X900A Ultra HD TVs in 55-inch and 65-inch screen sizes.