LCD vs. OLED Technology: A #GlassAge Debate
Tech observers and investors revel in lively discussions about the latest, greatest gadget and whose bottom line will get the greatest bounce. They enjoy debating the intricacies and details of materials that contribute to these devices, and the related trends and developments. For us at Corning, materials innovators for more than 165 years, it’s been great to see a recent uptick in discussions about OLED versus LCD display panel technology - a genuine #GlassAge debate.
Corning.com staff sat down with Mike Kunigonis, business director for Corning’s High Performance Displays Group, to understand key differences between OLED and LCD display technology.
Corning.com: Thanks for your time today, Mike. Let’s start with a key question: In the context of display panels, how does OLED technology work and what are the main differences between it and LCD technology?
MK: OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode, or Organic LED. It’s an alternative to LCDs for consumer electronic devices that range in size from wearable to TVs. Like LCD, OLED is a type of panel that enables the displays on device screens. An OLED display picture is generated by turning on and off millions of tiny individual LEDs, each forming the individual pixels of a display. Compare this to LCD, where an always-on backlight projects light through a liquid crystal, sandwiched between two pieces of glass. When the liquid crystal is excited by an electrical current, it lets the light of an individual pixel pass through like a shutter. LCD and OLED display panels both excel at delivering vibrant consumer displays, each in its own unique way.
Corning.com: We’ve heard industry analysts with varying opinions on the benefits an OLED device offers. So why would a consumer prefer a device with an OLED display over an LCD display?
MK: Adoption of OLED displays on smaller, mobile devices is the driver behind most of today’s OLED industry growth, so let me focus on that. A handheld OLED display is attractive to consumers because of the industrial design and display attributes that this technology can support. For example, OLED displays can be curved, or be thinner, or have narrower bezels – or no bezels at all – or flex and bend. Plus, an OLED display will be a great solution for virtual reality applications because it can provide high resolution and superior response time and latency.