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New LED to spark LCD revolution

The Phlatlight at just 1% illumination
The Phlatlight at just 1% illumination

An ultra high brightness LED could be set to change the face of high-end LCDs in the next year.

Luminus Devices, which manufactures the PhlatLight LED, is in talks with several large LCD manufacturers about providing the technology for large TVs in 2009.

The PhlatLight provides a huge amount of light from a small chip, though a lot larger than a single LED, and provides a more reliability and a long life span, around 100,000 hours in some cases, meaning it will easily outlast most consumer's needs.

This high brightness means it can be placed at the side of the LCD rather than behind it, making it more efficient and using some light deflection technology, capable of improving the picture far beyond the current capabilities.


"We've got several prototypes being evaluated by customers at the moment," said Alexei Erchak, CTO and co-founder.

"These customers are evaluating whether to make the switch to LED backlighting period, and are very careful about the products they launch. But these are very large chips, roughly capable of replacing 1000 LEDs each, and can be used for edge lighting.

"We're talking LCD screens bigger than 45- or 50-inches."

An LED can provide a much richer colour than standard backlighting in LCD screens, with deeper tones. It can also create a deeper contrast, especially important with larger screen sizes.

Luminus Devices will be working with contract manufacturers interested in ditching fluorescent lamps in the back of the TVs (those things that kick out all the heat when you're watching Coronation Street.)

This could mean greener, more efficient screens in the near future (well, until OLEDs land in bigger screen sizes, anyway).