The SID Display Week 2016 trade show is now taking place in San Francisco, where world-renowned display manufacturers including Samsung and LG have been invited to showcase their latest advancements in display technology. As expected, Display Week 2016 gave Samsung yet another opportunity to demo its flexible screen technology, and the company had several such products demoed on the trade show floor. However, one of the most interesting pieces of technology was a new Samsung rollable display, which can be rolled in a 10mm-radius tube.
Samsung Display has been working with flexible screen technology for several years already, and some of the company’s efforts have become visible to the general public with the introduction of the “Edge” family of products and their curved displays. However, Samsung pushed the flexible screen concept to its limits, and eventually became “rollable” display technology. Such panels are not commercially available, but Samsung takes every opportunity it gets to showcase its latest advancements in this area. Evidently, this was the case during Display Week 2016, where Samsung unveiled a new 5.7-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080, and a pixel density of 386 pixels per inch. The panel has a 10R rolling radius which technically allows it to be rolled in a 10 mm-radius tube; it weighs 5 grams, and its profile measures a mere 0.3 millimeters. However, the screen doesn’t have a touch layer (it’s technically not a touchscreen) and this greatly contributes to the 0.3 mm thinness. In addition, the panel was demoed in an enclosed environment and was powered by an external battery. It remains unclear how many “rolls” the panel can be subjected to before damage occurs, and Samsung declined to reveal any specific details on the matter.
Aside from the rollable panel, Samsung Display also showcased a 5.7-inch flexible screen with a 2560 x 1440 resolution and a pixel density of 551 ppi, capable of generating 420 nits of brightness. Perhaps it is less impressive than the rollable display, but it has more chances of becoming commercially available along with future Samsung smartphones. Keep in mind that Samsung has been demoing various display technologies for years, and the company is also believed to work on at least one foldable smartphone prototype, previously referred to as “Project Valley”. However, as far as consumer products go, Samsung may still have a long way to go before it will be ready to mass produce foldable and rollable displays. Until then, you can see the new rollable panel in action in the video below.