Active-matrix OLED (Active-matrix organic light-emitting diode or AMOLED) is a display technology for use in mobile devices and televisions. OLED describes a specific type of thin film display technology in which organic compounds form the electroluminescent material, and active matrix refers to the technology behind the addressing of pixels. As of 2011, AMOLED technology is used in mobile phone and media players and continues to make progress toward low-power, low-cost and large-size (for example 40 inch) applications.
An active matrix OLED display consists of a matrix of OLED pixels that generate light upon electrical activation that have been deposited or integrated onto a thin film transistor (TFT) array, which functions as a series of switches to control the current flowing to each individual pixel.
Typically, this continuous current flow is controlled by at least two TFTs at each pixel, two to start and stop the charging of a storage capacitor and the second to provide a voltage source at the level needed to create a constant current to the pixel and eliminating need for the very high currents required for passive matrix OLED operation.
TFT backplane technology is crucial in the fabrication of AMOLED displays. Two primary TFT backplane technologies, namely polycrystalline silicon (poly-Si) and amorphous silicon (a-Si), are used today in AMOLEDs. These technologies offer the potential for fabricating the active matrix backplanes at low temperatures (below 150°C) directly onto flexible plastic substrates for producing flexible AMOLED displays.
Active-matrix OLED displays provide higher refresh rates than their passive-matrix OLED counterparts, and they consume significantly less power. This advantage makes active-matrix OLEDs well suited for portable electronics, where power consumption is critical to battery life.
The amount of power the display consumes varies significantly depending on the color and brightness shown. As an example, one commercial QVGA OLED display consumes 3 watts while showing black text on a white background, but only 0.7 watts showing white text on a black background.
Samsung Mobile Display will show a prototype of an advanced flexible AMOLED display that is only 0.2mm thick! This display will be 4.5-inch long and would support WVGA 800×480 pixel resolution. This AMOLED display is so flexible that it can be rolled down to one centimeter radius. These flexible AMOLED displays are made from plastic substrates that are not prone to breakage during manufacturing process.
These advanced flexible AMOLED displays are designed for smartphone and tablet PCs. An update about this display hints that the Galaxy S successor, which was rumored last month, may sport it. The Galaxy S successor was said to come with super AMOLED 2 and it seems like Samsung is going to show a similar AMOLED display technology.