Sharp has developed a flexible OLED panel that could be used in smartphone screens, as the company is gearing up to become a candidate display supplier for Apple.
Sharp developed a 3.4-inch top emitting OLED display prototype at its facility in Tenri, Nara Prefecture. The display utilizes the company's IGZO (indium-gallium-zinc oxide) energy-saving panel technology. Sharp says that the display has a long lifetime and is "color- shift-free", as a result of newly developed light emitting layers in the tandem structure. In addition, high-performance TFTs fabricated on a flexible substrate contribute to high-resolution flexible OLED.
Sharp says that its OLED is fully bendable, meaning that it could be bent from users when it find its way to a future device. It has a resolution of 960x 540 pixels, a pixel density of 326ppi and a 10mm bend radius - the minimum radius one can bend without damaging it, or shortening its life. The smaller the bend radius, the greater is the material flexibility.
The company plans to invest 200 billion yen ($1.84 billion) into the OLED business over four years using money it will receive from Taiwan's Hon Hai Precision Industry, which has agreed to buy the Japanese company.