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Tuesday, November 11, 1997 Published at 15:02 GMT


Intel backs new display technology

The British company aims to lead the world in display technology

Chip giants Intel are investing in a British firm who hope to lead the world in flat-panel computer display technology.

Cambridge Display Technology (CDT), have already received funds from such diverse sources as the rock band Genesis and the heads of EDventure Holdings and Power Computing.

CDT have developed a technology called LEP or light-emitting polymer. LEPs are a form of semiconductor consisting of a special plastic material which emits light when subjected to an electrical charge.

The main application for this technology will be in the manufacture of displays for laptop computers, as LEP displays are lighter and will eventually be much cheaper to make than the current LCDs (liquid crystal displays).

LEPs are made with a single sheet of glass, LCD displays usually use two sheets with a liquid crystal solution between them. This makes them lighter and use less power.

CDT was founded after initial work at the Cavendish Laboratory at Cambridge University led by Richard Friend and Andrew Holmes.

They discovered that Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) could be made from polymers as opposed to traditional semiconductors.

The company says that work on the new technology will take some time to fully develop but they have already signed a non exclusive license agreement with Netherlands-based Phillips Electronics.

The market for laptops gets larger every year and this new technology making portable computers lighter and cheaper could dominate the world of computer displays in the years to come.

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