Rolling Out Flexible Displays

Current flat panel displays depends on rigid silicon-on-glass backplanes to drive pixel components. Rolltronics Corporation has introduced a new technology they trademarked under the name “FASwitch” that promises wallscreen televisions and flexible displays in the near future. The company “prints out” flexible backplanes like a printing press prints out a newspaper. The materials are cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and can be made in larger form factors than existing processes. In fact, Rolltronics envisions thin wallpaper-like panels that can be tiled on a wall to create gigantic televisions, at an affordable price.

This technology will likely be used first in coming electronic ink products. These devices will bring the superior resolution of ink on paper to digital displays and may finally usher in the age of digital books. Rolltronics is currently looking for partners and licensees to begin making use of their new technology.

Rolltronics has spun off a separate company, VoltaFlex, that plans to use the same Roll-to-Roll (R2R) processing technology to create thin, flexible, and rechargeable batteries. Both companies hope to bring R2R processing to the manufacturing of components that currently require much more expensive and complex processes to produce.

Published by Richard Leis

Richard Leis is a poet and writer living in Tucson, Arizona. His poetry has been published in or is forthcoming from Impossible Archetype and The Laurel Review. A work of flash fiction is forthcoming from Cold Creek Review. His essays about fairy tales and technology have been published online at Tiny Donkey and Fairy Tale Review's Fairy-Tale Files. Richard is also Downlink Lead for HiRISE at the University of Arizona.