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CES 2013: Sony steals OLED thunder

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At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today, Sony unveiled the world’s first 56‚” 4K OLED TV, stealing the TV thunder from its rivals.

Sony CEO Kazuo Hirai announced today that the company has developed the first 4K (3840 x 2160) OLED (organic light-emitting diode) television. To demonstrate its latest achievement, Sony is displaying a 56-inch prototype at The International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

‚”We don’t just talk about technology, we actually deliver,‚”Hirai said, in a thinly veiled reference to Sony rivals that had to go back on their promise to deliver OLED TVs last year.‚”While other companies promise OLED and miss their deadlines, we’ve been producing OLED displays for other companies.‚”

Both LG and Samsung earlier announced their first 55‚” OLED TVs. However, both were eclipsed not only by the marginally larger screen offered on the Sony unit, but also by its 4K resolution.

The world’s first and largest* 56-inch OLED TV achieves 4K resolution by using the latest oxide semiconductor TFTs and Sony’s own ‚’Super Top Emission’ technologies.

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.

The OLED panel used in this prototype 4K OLED TV on display at the exhibition was jointly developed with Taiwanese company AU Optronics Corp. (AUO)

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.

Sony will continue to research OLED technology with the goal of commercializing its new 4K OLED televisions, as well as launch 4K LCD TVs like the BRAVIAs exhibited at CES2013. From filming to editing, content creation, delivery, distribution and display devices, Sony is making its unique new 4K imaging experience available to users in a wide variety of ways.

Technological specifications of the exhibited 4K OLED TV prototype

Panel sizet: 56-inch

Number of pixelst: 3,840 x 2,160

Display elementst: OLED (organic light-emitting diode)

Drive circuitt: Oxide semiconductor TFT

Special structural characteristicst: Super Top Emission

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