Micro-LED Backlights Could Bring OLED Performance to LCD Screens
AT CES this week, Rohinni demonstrated its micro-LED technology, and provided a glimpse at new backlight technology it's working on for the LCD display panels used in phones. While most LED chips are around 1mm, Rohinni's micro-LEDs are many times smaller and can be placed precisely on thin, flexible plastic sheets. Rohinni is working with unnamed partners to use this technology in LCD backlights, which could reduce panel thickness, allowing thinner phones. Also, much like high-end "LED" home TVs, it would allow local dimming, which would improve contrast and lower power consumption, bringing most of the benefits of OLED technology to LCD panels. Micro-LEDs can also be printed on thin, flexible plastic sheets in any configuration. They're currently used for the thinnest laptop keyboard backlights, and have many other potential applications in mobile devices.
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There's a new touch panel technology in town, and it's coming to next year's phones with flexible displays. Sensel makes touch panels that have the precision and multi-touch capability of today's capacitive touch technology, but are better suited to the flexible displays coming to phones this year and next.
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LG today said its "next flagship smartphone" — widely believed to be the V30 — will be the first to adopt a plastic OLED FullVision display. LG has used plastic OLED before, notably on the 2015 Flex 2, which was in fact curved and flexible.
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Alcatel today followed through on its promise to bring the A5 LED to the U.S., though it has changed the phone's name to simply the Alcatel A50. The phone, first revealed in February, is compatible with a handful of modular accessories, the most significant of which features an LED-covere panel that can blink a few dozen LEDs with color.