Samsung plans touch-integrated AMOLED

February 2, 2010 // 3:13 p.m.

Tags: #480x800 #800x480 #amoled #apple #apple-patent #dual-function-capacitive-elements #handset #mobile #oled #patent #samsung #smartphone #wvga

Samsung is planning a new screen for mobile handsets - due to launch in March - which will be the first to feature the company's new AMOLED screen with integrated capacitive touch sensors, potentially offering a reduction in weight and thickness over traditional touchscreen displays.

As reported over on Engadget the new technology puts the capacitive touch elements directly on to the AMOLED display cells themselves, between the substrate and the bottom polarizer film - adding a mere 0.001mm to the thickness of the display while allowing for full touch response.

The technology contrasts with traditional capacitive touch screen systems, which overlay a glass cover isolated from the display itself via an air gap - a method of manufacture which both increases the size and the weight compared toSamsung's new innovation.

The specifications of the display itself are fairly standard smartphone fair - a 3.3" diagonal capable with a 480x800 resolution - but it's the reduced size and weight along with the potential for increased brightness due to fewer layers of material above the screen that will get people's interest. So far the company has yet to announce an actual handset using the new display.

If you think the combined display-element-touch-element technology sounds a little familiar, you'd be right: Apple recently had a patent granted for improvements to touch screen devices which included a section on "Dual-Function Capacitive Elements," a system of integrating both display and sensor technology into single elements to reduce the weight and power draw of touch screen devices. How similarSamsung's latest AMOLED display is to Apple's invention - and whether the company will be taking a legal interest in sales - isn't yet known.

Are you hoping that Samsung's new screen brings in an era of ultra-slim ultra-bright handsets, or is the company likely to have to put glass covers on the screens anyway just to protect them from clumsy fingers? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

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