Plastic Logic Makes Successful Evolution to Flexible Displays

For many companies, markets evolve and opportunities arise. Plastic Logic is one such company. A few years ago, Plastic Logic was at the front and center of the eReader field, but the market changed and Plastic Logic found it needed to shift its focus.

Photo courtesy of Plastic Logic.
Armed with a major infusion of capital from Rusnano, Oak Investment Partners and Amadeus Capital Partners, Plastic Logic has developed its “Plastic Inside” approach, developing flexible plastic displays that can be used for touch screens, sensors, tags and much more. Through the use of organic thin film transistors (OTFTs), these displays are ultra-thin and ultra-lightweight, range in size from one to 20 inches and can be either monochrome or color.

The transition to becoming a flexible display supplier has had its challenges, but Plastic Logic seems comfortable with its new approach.

Most recently, Plastic Logic announced that it is collaborating with Epson Europe Electronics GmbH on a controller/driver module developed for Plastic Logic’s flexible plastic displays that allows optimization of performance targeted at displays between 1ʺ and 5ʺ sizes. The results will be on display at electronica 2012 in Munich.

Dr. Peter Fischer, chief technology officer at Plastic Logic, noted that Plastic Logic has been working with Epson for six months on this project, and added that the results are impressive.

“The cooperation between Epson and Plastic Logic has led to an innovative display module, combining the Epson controller/driver S1D13541 for electrophoretic displays on a special flexible foil (COF) with Plastic Logic’s unique flexible plastic displays in smaller sizes (1 to 5 inches),” Dr. Fischer said. “These display modules can be integrated in a wide variety of applications enabling new and improved products for a broad range of markets including healthcare, automotive, mobile devices and smart cards.”

Dr. Fischer said that Plastic Logic’s new approach to the industry has been a success.

“The response to our new market approach has been immense,” Dr. Fischer noted. “Since the announcement in May, Plastic Logic has been approached by a great number of companies interested in integrating our flexible plastic display technology into their applications. I’m delighted to report that we are already working with several customers to enable new product solutions, which will benefit from the fact that our displays are 100% plastic and, therefore, extremely thin, ultra-light and robust, as well as being very low power.

“Obviously, the good relationship with our investors has been key in this strategy change,” Dr. Fischer added. “Our main investors, including Oak Investment Partners, Amadeus Capital Partners and Rusnano, continue to play an important role in the company’s decisions and direction.”

Ultimately, Dr. Fischer sees many new applications for printed electronics in the works, and he believes that printed electronics is destined to become an established technology within the next decade.

“The potential for applications using printed electronics (PE) is immense,” Dr. Fischer said. “As more and more product designers and manufacturers incorporate PE into their production processes, the market will continue to grow. We have already seen a surge in 3D printing for creating simple products (including fast prototyping), especially in the area of medical applications.

“Printed electronics, such as the process for printing flexible organic thin film transistors (TFTs), which Plastic Logic has now industrialized, will enable printed systems car,” Dr. Fischer added. “The next 10 years will witness PE becoming an established technology, and it will no longer be considered out of the ordinary to ‘print.’”