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Samsung Electronics has sliced the size of its new liquid crystal display panels to the thickness of a credit card, crafting what it claims is the thinnest mobile LCD screen on record.

The company made the announcement Nov. 21, and stated mass production of the .82 mm screens would begin in the second half of 2007.

When combined with “iLens”, a new method for attaching a shock-resistant protective sheet directly to the LCD module, manufacturers can cut the thickness of a mobile phone 1.4 to 2.4 mm, the company said.

“The new Samsung LCD mobile screen can absorb twice as much force from an external source of impact compared to today’s typical LCD panels,” Joe Virginia, vice president of Samsung LCD business, wrote in an e-mail.

“The higher degree of integration, thinner package and more durable iLens technology was developed in response to the needs of our OEMs serving the mobile display device market.”

The protective shield is added during the LCD module manufacturing process and makes the module less susceptible to particle contamination and improves mechanical strength twice over from other models, Virginia said.

To make the slimmer panel a reality, Samsung’s Mobile Display Team redesigned the light guide plate subassembly and the glass substrate, which accounted for most of the LCD module’s thickness.

Samsung’s new i-Lens process eliminates the space between the LCD module and the panel surface, and resolves problems with sunlight reflection inherent in the use of reinforced plastic covers by redirecting ambient light.

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As a result, the panel is much easier to view outdoors, the company said.

“Samsung’s R&D initiatives, including LCD module thickness reduction and reinforced shock resistance, will enable our customers to develop truly differentiated and more reliable, ultra-thin mobile products,” said Executive Vice President Yun Jin-Hyuk in a statement.

LCD screen will be available in 2.1 inch and 2.2 inch diagonal sizes, and will offer 240 X 320 pixel resolution.

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