LG’s 55-inch OLED HD TV at CES 2013, Las Vegas #2013CES | Analysis of OLED Patents owned by LG

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LG’s 55-inch OLED HD TV at CES 2013, Las Vegas #2013CES | Analysis of OLED Patents owned by LG

LG has recently announced at CES in Las Vegas that it would launch the long-awaited OLED TV into the U.S. market this March, for a suggested retail price of $12,000.

Patents

In addition to OLED, LG also announced it will expand its line of Ultra HD TV sets with two more sizes: 65-inch and 55-inch sets. They join an 84-inch, $20,000 model that launched in 2012. However, LG didn’t announce pricing or availability of the new Ultra HD models, which display images with four times more detail than the standard high-definition TVs.

Generally, an OLED TV screen’s design is based on a new display technology called OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diodes). OLED televisions provide multiple advantages, such as, for example, more brightness, more efficiency, thinner screens, better refresh rates and contrast as compared to either LCD or Plasma.

The manufacturing process of OLEDs includes placing thin films of organic (carbon based) materials between two conductors. Accordingly, when electrical current is applied, a bright light is emitted. Subsequently, the OLED materials emit light and do not require a backlight (unlike LCDs). As a matter of fact, each pixel is a small light-emitting diode.

In addition to the above, OLED TV panels offers several advantages over LCDs, such as, faster refresh rate, better contrast and better color reproduction. In terms of thickness, LG’s EL9500 is just 1.7mm thick. It also provides much better viewing angle of almost 180 degrees. In terms of power consumption, moving towards greener segment, OLEDs draw less power, and also do not contain any bad metals. Another advantage is that OLED panels can potentially be made flexible and/or transparent.

Patent Trends

Although it is a well known fact that Samsung and LG make Korea one of the top 5 countries that file for patent applications, a quick search at USPTO revealed that there exists almost 50 patents (both granted and pending) assigned to LG having OLED mentioned in the abstract. This may not provide an accurate analysis but still act as a reference to study the patent filing trends.

Among these granted patents and published patent applications, a few has been randomly selected and briefly analysed below.

United States Patent 8330675 – Organic light emitting display

Filed on 07/21/2009, this patent relates to an organic light emitting diode (OLED) display that includes a panel, a driving unit, and a sense unit. The panel includes subpixels, disposed on a first substrate, and electrode patterns disposed on one side of a second substrate. The first substrate and the second substrate are attached to each other, and the electrode patterns are disposed on a side of the second substrate that is facing the first substrate.

LG_Patent_Attorney_USPTO

As seen therein, FIG. 4 illustrates an exemplary view of an electrode patterns having a two-dimensional dual-layer structure, and the electrode patterns may have a structure in which the electrode patterns are divided into Y-axis electrode patterns Y0, Y1, Y2, and Y3 and X-axis electrode patterns X0, X1, X2, and X3 both of which are disposed in different layers. For example, as seen above, FIG. 4 is a diagram showing that the Y-axis electrode patterns Y0, Y1, Y2, and Y3 and the X-axis electrode patterns X0, X1, X2, and X3 are arranged in a diamond form. As per the disclosure, in this structure, when a user touches a point A0, the sense unit TSC can detect a change in the capacitance, caused by the area of Y0 and the area of X0, through the electrode patterns located in the touched area.

Accordingly, the sense unit TSC can detect capacitance, changed according to the touch points A0, A1, A2, and A3 by a user, through the electrode patterns. Here, the above-described electrode patterns may have a different structure according to their positions. Accordingly, the sense unit TSC may convert data, input in the form of an analog signal, into a digital signal in order to use the change in the capacitance acquired from the electrode patterns.

Also, FIG. 5 is a diagram showing the structure of a panel that comprises subpixels, disposed on one side of a first substrate 100a, and lower electrode patterns 161 disposed on one side of a second substrate 100b (i.e., a side facing the subpixels). The first substrate 100a and the second substrate 100b are coalesced together and sealed by an adhesive member 180. Meanwhile, the lower electrode patterns 161 are coupled to the sense unit as described above. Further, the lower electrode patterns 161 may be divided in plural numbers in respective lines corresponding to the subpixels, but not limited thereto. Here, the panel may comprise a protection layer 190 disposed on the other side of the second substrate 100b. The protection layer 190 may be made of a polarizing film, but not limited thereto. In the case where the lower electrode patterns 161 are disposed on one side of the second substrate 100b as described above, a buffer layer 155 made of organic material or an insulating film may be formed on an upper electrode 150 in order to prevent short between the lower electrode patterns 161 and the upper electrode 150. In this case, the buffer layer 155 may be omitted.

This patent further discloses that the OLED device according to the embodiments of the invention may have a function of the touch screen panel using the electrode patterns on the panel. Furthermore, in the OLED device according to the embodiments of the invention, because the electrode patterns driven in a capacitance manner and the panel form an integral body, a function of the touch screen panel capable of performing the multi-touch operation may be provided so as to reduce the manufacturing cost.

United States Patent 7932916 – Organic light emitting diode device capable of decreasing data procesing capacity and timing controller suitable for the same

Filed on 05/03/2005, this patent relates to an organic light emitting diode (OLED) device, and a method for driving the same, in which image data is processed by Frame Rate Control (FRC) and dithering, so that it is possible to decrease data processing capacity, area of drive IC, and power consumption.

LG_Patent_Attorney_USPTO_Patents

As shown therein, FIG. illustrates the OLED device according to the present invention including an OLED (or OELD) panel 200, a gate drive unit 203, a data drive unit 205, and a timing controller 210, all operatively coupled. At this time, the gate drive unit 203 and the data drive unit 205 respectively apply driving signals to gate and data lines formed on the OLED panel 200. Also, the timing controller 210 controls the gate drive unit 203 and the data drive unit 205.

Also, the timing controller 210 receives RGB image data of n-bit, and synchronized signals HSYNC and VSYNC and clock signals DE and MCLK for displaying the corresponding RGB image data from a graphic source, e.g., from an external system. Then, the timing controller 210 performs gamma correction, color compensation, FRC (Frame Rate Control), and dithering, and outputs the compensated RGB data of n′-bit (n′=n or n′=n+1) to the data drive unit 205.

In the OLED device and the method for driving the same according to this patent, the FRC and dithering process is performed for the gamma correction, whereby the data processing capacity and the area of the drive IC decrease, thereby decreasing the power consumption.

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Contributors: Prity Khastgir and Rahul Dev 

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