Motorola shows industry's first nano emissive flat screen prototype

Schaumburg (IL) - Motorola announced the first prototype of a nano emissive display that is based on carbon nanotubes - a technology that is believed to lead the way to larger flat panel displays that are not only cheaper than today's devices but also offer a higher image quality.

The firm's research lab believes to have made a breakthrough development that brings the industry one step closer to nanotechnology flat screen displays. The prototype shown on Monday is a 5" color device that is built using carbon nanotube technology (CNT).

CNT is based on the idea to accelerate electrons to create a large television display based on field emission technology. Such devices are expected to be extremely lightweight, consumer less power than today's LCDs and offer a significantly improved image quality. Market research firm Nanomarkets said that CNT-based displays therefore will "avoid most of the disadvantages associated with today's CRT, plasma and LCD displays."

According to Motorola, the demonstrated NED display represents a portion of a 42" HDTV with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, is less than 1" thick and was created by "a scalable method of growing CNTs directly on glass" in order to enable an energy efficient design. The prototype hinted not only to a "fundamentally" changed design and fabrication for flat panel displays but also revealed "high brightness, excellent uniformity and color purity", the company said.

It is unclear at this time when the technology will become commercially available and how much such displays will cost. Motorola and market research firm DisplaySearch stated that 40" panels may be priced around $400, which would be at the lower end of today's plasma and LCD panels. NanoMarkets however believes that first TVs and other large displays based on CNT will be priced well above today's displays.

Motorola did not say when CNT displays could hit the market. Analysts believe initial products could become available lat this year.

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