Corning said Monday that it has developed a new glass substrate, called Corning Astra Glass, that has been optimized for mid-to-large-size display screens used for high-performance, high-resolution tablets, notebooks, and large-screen 8K TVs.

Astra Glass was engineered to enable the higher pixel density of high-performance displays allowing brighter, faster, and more lifelike images, the company said. The new glass is said to be more thermally and dimensionally stable allowing panel makers to improve yields while achieving the desired resolution.

Presumably this will contribute to lowering the bill of materials for such displays and potentially to lower prices on finished products down the road. However, the pricing asked for the final product will be up to each manufacturer to determine.

Corning’s Astra Glass statement did not reveal pricing or names of any manufacturers who might have signed up to use it in their panel production. However, a company spokesperson told HD Guru that Corning has secured one of the leading oxide panel manufacturers as a first customer for Astra Glass, and the glass manufacturer is actively sampling the product with other leading panel makers in the industry.

“Suffice it to say, Corning would not launch a new glass substrate without a clear and present need from key customers,” said Brittany Salgado, Manager, Executive & Marketing Communications for Corning Glass Technologies.

The announcement was made official in time for the Society for Information Display’s (SID) Display week in San Jose, Calif., which is running from May 14-16.

“After years of close collaboration with customers, we’ve learned what they need in an oxide display glass to bring 8K resolution to larger devices and sets – low total pitch variation, low total thickness variation, and low sag,” said Han Yim, business director, High-Performance Displays, Corning Glass Technologies. “Astra Glass meets the precise, high-temperature requirements of oxide processing and joins our portfolio of display substrates, alongside EAGLE XG Glass and Lotus NXT Glass, to cover the entire spectrum of our customers’ needs.”

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Corning said Astra Glass will allow it to offer panel makers a fuller range of high-performance panels – from the high end of the [amorphous silicon] a-Si space into IGZO oxide.

IGZO display technology, which is licensed by Sharp and Samsung from the Japan Science and Technology Agency and implemented in high-resolution mobile device screens, is a type of transistor used in the TFT backplane of a high-resolution display panel. These can include both LCD and OLED displays.

Corning added that these attributes position Astra Glass as the foundation for large-size 8K TVs and high-performance notebooks and tablets with bright picture quality and fast response times.

Corning said Astra Glass will provide “a glass that is more dimensionally and thermally stable with more pristine surface quality. This is of particular benefit for oxide displays, like those required for high resolution. “Corning Astra Glass is produced using Corning’s proprietary fusion manufacturing process and is designed to endure the high-temperature requirements for oxide TFT backplane processing,” the company said.

End users will enjoy “clearer and sharp resolution. Corning scientists precisely engineered Astra Glass to extend the high-resolution, true-to-life viewing experience of mobile to larger formats. Featuring an optimum blend of low total pitch variation (TPV), low total thickness variation (TTV), and low sag, Astra Glass has the inherent fidelity required to thrive in oxide TFT fabrication and enable immersive 8K TVs and high-performance tablets with bright picture quality and fast response times. Combined with its potential to improve panel-maker yields, Astra Glass is exceptionally advantaged for oxide displays,” said Salgado.

In addition to Astra Glass, Corning is presenting at its SID booth the following display glass materials:

• Corning Lotus NXT Glass: Corning said this enhances the design and manufacture of high-performance displays, and is optimized for the expanding LTPS-LCD and LTPS-OLED industries. Featuring superior key attributes for flexible OLED panel manufacturing, Lotus NXT Glass leads the industry, having enabled more than 375 million flexible OLED phones since 2015.
• Corning Gorilla Glass: This is Corning’s well-publicized highly-durable cover glass for more than 45 major OEMs and is featured on more than six billion devices – delivering superior damage resistance, optical clarity, and touch sensitivity.
• Augmented Reality Precision Glass Solutions: these are said to enable cutting-edge augmented reality/mixed reality experiences with industry-leading glass optimized for sleek
wearable designs. Corning’s ultra-flat, high refractive index glass enables superior image
quality in waveguides, while its industry-leading size supports customers’ efforts to reduce cost. Corning also offers world-class metrology instruments and automated laser glass-cutting machining that improve high-volume manufacturing.
• Corning Iris Glass: this is a previously reported light-guide plate for edge-lit LCD displays. Due to its intrinsic rigidity and dimensional stability, it outperforms the incumbent technology – plastic – and allows manufacturers to reduce set thickness, increase set brightness, and design sets with slimmer bezels.

By Greg Tarr

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