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A post was made to my previous thread on this topic that basically said that there is no chance for Gorilla creation in the FPD market because of the number of existing players...Perhaps so. But I am not yet convinced. I agree that the existing marketplace and existing technology have set up the situation whereby a Gorilla is unlikely. However, that's the point of Gorilla Gaming--I am not looking at existing players and technologies per se.

My current focus is on potential discontinuous innovations that will upset the applecart and create the potential for Gorilla breeding. That said, all I expect to offer as a result of my current research is my conclusion as to whether the current innovations ocurring in the FPD world will result in this being a market to watch. My gut sense so far is that Organic Light Emiting Diode OLED has the best chance of becoming that discontinous innovation.

Regardless of whether it comes from an entrenched player or upstart, if the company owns the technology, opens it up to the market thereby creating a standard, if the quality of the image meets or beats CRT standards, if it is less expensive to manufacture and sell and it has attributes like flexibilty and transparancy that the existing technology can not match--well that sounds like Simian turf to me. Descriptions of OLED include all of these caveats--just no owner of the open proprietary standard as yet.

I am also finding that OLEDs research is turning up some other potential non-display applications thus creating additional niches for the first to win the OLED racei--if any one does.

According to David Lieberman, a columnist at EE Times, the OLED threatens established liquid-crystal-based systems with the promise of low-cost manufacturing techniques that could produce more rugged products. But apart from such practical considerations, he believes that organic electronics also hold out new possibilities that are resulting in systems with capabilities that liquid-crystal systems cannot touch.

At the Institute of Photoelectronics at Nankai University (Tianjin, China), for example, researcher Chunya Wu describes an integrated image sensor/display that couples input and output in a way seldom seen before, combining a current LED with an OLED on the back as a highspeed color light switching light source. And N. Ogawa of Tohoku University's Graduate School of Engineering (Sendai, Japan) reports on a display device that capitalizes on the strengths of both the LCD and the OLED. The Tohoku group has built a "trial panel" that puts a multicolor OLED to work as " a high-speed switching light source" Ogawa says that organic electroluminescent devices are good candidates for this light source. "The scheme grows out of the [industry's] desire to avoid using color filters."

Field-sequential color is demanding and requires both a fast LCD and a fast backlight with red, blue and green components, according to Ogawa, who is on leave from Toyota Motor Corp. to conduct the project. This is very interesting because it has a potential to improve the current state of the art and potentially creates a situation where the incumbant manufacturers may be a customer of the OLED, the very technology the could displace them all.

Meanwhile, over at the Institute of Photoelectronics at Nankai University, Chunya Wu and his colleagues have been working on an integrated I/O device: a combination sensor and display. The device can detect a UV light signal. Therefore, the OLED device can apply to visible light detecting/displaying, X-ray diagnosing/displaying, UV-light detecting/displaying, etc. It may also be used as a light switch and a light modulator because it can change one light signal into another light signal."

One of the barriers to any color flat panel display technology development is the creation of a blue light emmitting pixel.OLED may have the uppe rhand here too. LED developers took more than a decade to do it, but Cambridge Display Technology, LTD.(CDT) got there in less than 18 months. According to CDT's technical director, Jeremy Burroughes, "We now have shown the three primary colors needed for a full-color display with a common device architecture and voltage operating regime, which is extremely significant in terms of manufacturability of LEP (Light Emmitting [organic] Polymers) based products." CDT is one to watch in this race.

Leiberman also writes: "Organic light-emitting-diode displays (OLEDs) have already been integrated into car radios, and they'll be in cell phones before the year is out. "

It looks like Uniax Corp. is the one who is bringing the above named products to market this year. They have completed a $2 million prototyping line for their light-emitting polymer displays and plan to have it operational in July. Prototypes will be available by the first quarter of next year, and commercial production will begin by the third or fourth quarter. The initial products will be small, monochrome dot-matrix displays, roughly 1-x-2 inches, squarely targeted at personal communications products such as cellular telephones and pagers.

The next thing I think I need to watch out for is the industry teaming up and creating an wide open standard that no on "owns" as you G gamers know, the open standard must be proprietary for Gorilla valuation.

For example, a development team of Sarnoff Corp. (Princeton, N.J.), Planar America (Beaverton, Ore.), Eastman Kodak Co. (Rochester, N.Y.) and Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.) are working on an active-matrix OLED project being funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. Initial results were presented last year. I am trying to find out if anything funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency can be patented or owned by a single player. You can be sure that the incumbants in the FPD market won't want a proprietary standard (unless it belogs to one of them.

Even If the technology winds up being open and not proprietary there is still the chance that someone could grab the manufacturing process and steal the show.

Speaking of cheap to manufacture, how about this: Seiko Epson Corp. (Suwa, Japan) and Cambridge Display Technology Ltd. (there they are again), have made progress in developing a way to manufacture multicolor OLEDs with ink-jet printing, first detailed at an Asia Display expo last year. Do not for a moment assume that the above process is a desktop printing technology. Were talking about a very high tech ink jet deposition system for laying down the pixel colors during manufacturing. But relative to existing manufacturing tecniques--fast and cheap!

Well, I know the above is just a lot of mish mash really. I am close to a conclusion though and I am leaning towards believing that this is an industry/market to watch because this looks like just the type of discontinuous innovation that could rewrite the rules in the falt panel display market (and CRT for that matter).

I am beginning to believe that the chasm may be forming. Early adopters are placing orders and making investments. Bowling alley coming?? I'm watching.


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