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Is Sony's OLED TV overhyped?

Posted: 13 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:OLED TV? Sony XEL-1? AMOLED?

It's been hyped, analyzed and taken apart. Yet the Sony XEL-1 TVa first of its kind using organic electroluminescence technologymight not live long enough for anyone to see.

DisplaySearch, a display-market research firm, has a report out on characterization of the active-matrix OLED (AMOLED) technology in the Sony set and the news is not encouraging.

It turns out that the RGB architecture is very sensitive to the image, and it has a 5,000hr lifetime for white and a 17,000hr lifetime for the typical video imagewell below the Sony Corp.'s published specifications, according to the report.

Moreover, the panel suffers from differential aging: After 1,000hrs the blue luminance degraded by 12 percent, the red by 7 percent and the green by 8 percent, said the report.

Other key findings include:

The sub-pixel architecture includes two TFTs and two capacitors. The pixel architecture does not use a common support layer, as the materials and thickness are different. The micro cavity structure results in multiple reflection interference. The brightness is severely reduced in high-ambient conditions. The black levels are less than 0.01cd/m, lower than any other display (PDP or LCD) currently on the market. The top emission design includes a color filter and a circular polarizer. The cathode is semi transparent. The design includes a unique approach to cooling the OLED.

DisplaySearch analysts claim that the Sony display is significantly inferior in many ways to other current AMOLED designs.

A "teardown" of the Sony OLED TV by Semiconductor Insights can be found here.

- Nicolas Mokhoff
EE Times Europe

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