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12 November, 2012 - 08:16 By Tony Quested

Epson and Plastic Logic form new powerhouse

Plastic Logic seeking fresh frontiers

A new technology powerhouse has been formed by Epson and Plastic Logic to broaden potential applications for flexible plastic displays.

Plastic Logic recently shifted its global headquarters from the US back to Cambridge in the UK and is determined to find fresh frontiers for the technology.

It believes the collaboration with Epson Europe Electronics GmbH will prove a catalyst for growth in the segment. The alliance could push the technology into healthcare and automotive applications, as well as mobile devices and smart cards.

The new partners are parading a controller/driver developed for Plastic Logic’s innovative flexible plastic displays at this week’s electronica 2012 in Munich. The collaboration between the two companies has allowed optimisation of performance targeted at displays between 1ʺ and 5ʺ size.

The Epson controller/driver S1D13541 for electrophoretic displays (EPD) combines all of the fundamental components for controlling an EPD on one single module.

The S1D13541 contains an EPD controller with four display pipelines, which can be used in parallel to represent up to 16 levels of grey. Furthermore, it contains 480 TFT source driver outputs as well as a built-in memory and supports display resolutions up to 480 x 854 pixels.

The module also integrates a waveform memory, a DC/DC booster circuit (optional usage) for the generation of all required display voltages, as well as a temperature sensor.

The turnkey package will allow the new display technology from Plastic Logic to be used in a broad range of applications, including healthcare and automotive applications, as well as in mobile devices and smart cards.

Plastic Logic has developed a flexible plastic display technology using organic thin film transistors (OTFT). The use of a plastic substrate instead of glass enables completely new applications and products.

As a result, Plastic Logic can manufacture flexible plastic EPDs (monochrome and colour) in various sizes (from 1 ʺ to 20ʺ), which are extremely light, ultra-thin, particularly robust and very low power. These displays can be manufactured with thicknesses considerably thinner than 400 µm and with a bendability radius of at least 15 mm.

Dr. Peter Fischer, CTO at Plastic Logic explained: “Plastic Logic’s versatile display solutions are all based on plastic and offer our customers the ability to improve their applications, as well as develop completely new products – from a wristband with an integrated flexible display to large area signage.

“We are delighted to announce the partnership between Epson and Plastic Logic, which has led to the development of a solution focused on our flexible plastic display sizes in the range of one to five inches and based on Epson’s EPD controller S1D13541. This will offer great advantages for various applications, including mobile devices and will allow the freedom for new product design approaches.”

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