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More tablets, PCs, and TVs to adopt AMOLED displays

As improvements unfold, AMOLED technology is expected to find its way onto more, and bigger, devices starting this year, says NPD DisplaySearch.

A host of smartphones already use AMOLED screens, and the prospects are good for more tablets and TVs to take advantage of these thin, fast, bright displays, according to NPD DisplaySearch.

AMOLED (active matrix organic light emitting diode) displays are ideal for tablets and TVs as they offer high contrast ratios, quick response times, and wide viewing angles. The technology also allows for such devices to be thin, flexible, and even transparent, the research firm notes.

On the other hand, AMOLED technology has faced challenges scaling up to screen sizes much larger than those on smartphones. But the latest improvements in the technology are expected to pave the way for its use on bigger devices, though production can still carry a high price tag.

"OLED displays operate through direct emission, as opposed to transmissive LCD or reflective displays, which enables area lighting," Jennifer Colegrove, vice president of emerging display technologies for NPD DisplaySearch, said in a statement. "The technology has made good progress and is ready to enter large-size applications, but low cost manufacturing for large sizes is still a challenge."

In December Samsung released a 7.7-inch Galaxy Tab tablet that uses a Super AMOLED Plus display. LG is expected to launch a 55-inch OLED TV sometime this year.

And NPD DisplaySearch sees other tablet and laptop vendors adopting the technology in 2012 as the manufacturing process starts to allow for larger displays in a more cost-effective way.

Revenue from OLED displays overall might have surpassed $4 billion last year, estimates NPD DisplaySearch, around 4 percent of all flat-panel display sales. As more companies latch onto the technology, revenue could shine past $20 billion by 2018, accounting for 16 percent of the entire display industry.