The Netherlands - Polymer Vision, a spin out of Royal Philips Electronics, today announced first production level rollable electrophoretic displays from its recently acquired manufacturing facility, Polymer Vision (UK) Ltd in Southampton, England - previously owned by Southampton University and called Innos.
In less than twelve months the clean room facilities have been completed, the first complete manufacturing tool set has been installed and the process has been successfully transferred from Eindhoven to the Southampton facility. The first batch of rollable displays produced has immediately delivered functional displays and from December onwards volumes will ramp up to meet growing customer demand.
"Our strategy to use standard semiconductor infrastructure has helped us to successfully and quickly start up production in Southampton", says Guido Aelbers, COO of Polymer Vision. "The result is an unprecedented pioneering step for the flexible display industry as a whole and marks the beginning of a new era of commercialization of rollable display enabled devices".
Demand for larger mobile displays is accelerating as telecom players push mobile content and mobile advertisements to compensate for shrinking growth in voice revenues. The solution is to unroll the display when needed and simply store away when not in use. This breakthrough for the mobile industry is closer than many may have expected as samples of Polymer Vision's first commercial product, the Readius®, will be shipped to customers before the end of 2007. With this step Polymer Vision is leading the industry of rollable/flexible displays by at least one year.
The Readius® is a pocket sized device which combines a large 5" rollable display with 3G high speed connectivity for true mobility and instant access to personalized news and information. The Readius® is the first member of a family of future Polymer Vision products that will offer consumers large rollable displays (5" and bigger) in small pocket size devices.
IDTechEx has visited the facility in Southampton and we observe that, although pentacene transistors made on silicon and transferred to flexible substrates are not the highest throughput or lowest cost approach, it has enabled the company to get to market rapidly. Companies such as Plastic Logic and Sony with organic transistors and Toppan Printing with inorganic compound transistors are taking longer to launch their flexible electrophoretic display backplanes by seeking mass production from the start.
About Polymer Vision
Polymer Vision is the pioneer of the rollable display enabled mobile device. This new mobile platform will revolutionize the ease with which consumers can access data content while "on the move". In February 2007 Polymer Vision received the prestigious "Innovation Award" at the 3GSM Congress in Barcelona in recognition of the significant contribution of Polymer Vision to the mobile industry.
For more on rollable displays attend Printed Electronics Europe 2008.