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Samsung PLS improves on IPS displays like iPad's, costs less

updated 04:25 pm EST, Wed December 1, 2010

Samsung intros PLS as improvement on LCDs

Samsung today unveiled a new form of LCD technology that could improve image quality even beyond existing IPS displays. Known as Super PLS (Plane to Line Switching), it changes the shape of the pixels to emit more light from the sides. The technique doubles the typical viewing angle with a bright picture but also improves the overall brightness by 10 percent.

Along with the improved image, Samsung has also managed to reduce the manufacturing costs by 15 percent compared to IPS, which should reduce the cost of high-end displays and encourage its use in mobile hardware. Current Super PLS displays can go up to 1280x800 resolution and would be effective in anything from smartphones to tablets and ultraportable notebooks.

Samsung plans to start mass production in winter 2011, but it's unclear who would be a customer beyond itself. The Korean firm has 30 patents related to the technology and would have to grant licenses to LG or other competitors to use Super PLS themselves.

Implementing the technology may give Samsung an at least temporary edge over Apple. The Mac designer has been one of the few champions of the typically higher quality but expensive IPS technology in its hardware, using it for all of its current iMacs as well as the iPad and iPhone 4. Samsung has tried to tout Super AMOLED as superior but has lost in objective testing as the accuracy and resolution of the iPhone 4 were preferred over Samsung's somewhat exaggerated colors. Super PLS would produce a better image than IPS but without losing the more neutral colors.

Apple currently has a long-term contract with LG Display for screens and may be locked out of Super PLS unless LG licenses from Samsung or else develops its own alternative. [via OLED-Display]

by MacNN Staff



  1. iphonerulez

    Joined: Dec 1969


    If Apple uses the technology and sells millions

    of products, that would seem to me that it would make plenty of money for Samsung. So unless Samsung can sell more products that Apple what would be the point of limiting the technology to itself. Samsung needs to sell to more than itself to make back R&D costs. It would be rather unusual if Samsung becomes the only company to develop Super PLS or similar display tech so chances are Apple will still be able to get those displays and be willing to buy up every panel Samsung can build.

  1. chas_m



    Samsung and Apple

    have a very close relationship, and you can rest assured that if we're just hearing about this now, Apple got a demo of it weeks or months ago.

    Seeing this technology in an iPad 2 (electric boogaloo) sounds a lot more achievable than a Retina Display (which would cost a fortune).

  1. chippie

    Joined: Dec 1969


    To: iphonerulez & chas_m:

    Samsung sold 160.2 million self branded monitors in 2009 (the 3rd year in a row leading market share), Apple isn't necessary to their success. The total sales of all apple's laptops, imacs and monitors for 2009 was less than 13.5 million units. Apple is niche, not where mega suppliers and manufacturers like Samsung recoup their R&D cost. The ipad was first, but the Samsung Galaxy Tabs soon to be sold in 3 sizes( 7 inch currently selling) the others out next quarter, are selling quite well to be available only on 3G contracts. As with the ipad I imagine the wifi only non contract devices will sell even better. Now, if I were Samsung and this gave my tablet an advantage, would I sell it to Apple? No way!!!

  1. wrenchy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Can't wait

    for the next flock of Droid's to sport this cool new technology.

    Should make those desktop widgets look even nicer.

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