Samsung has officially launched its YOUM brand for flexible AMOLED displays, ahead of the bendable panels showing up in commercial hardware later this year. Registered as a trademark - complete with a bendy YOUM logo - in mid-March, and detailed on the new Samsung Mobile Display site, YOUM promises to be thinner and lighter than traditional AMOLED and LCD-TFT screens, as well as being "unbreakable."
That's down to the differences in the "sandwich" of layers that make up a YOUM flexible display. An LCD screen would usually have six, two of which would be glass; an OLED panel would have four, again two of which would be glass.
It's that glass which makes the screens more vulnerable to damage, and indeed stops them from flexing or folding. In contrast, Samsung's YOUM panels use film-based encapsulation ("encap") and TFT layers, rather than glass substrates, which make them more resilient to damage along with allowing more flexibility in device design.
Samsung has previously shown off foldable devices as well as various flexible prototypes, and has suggested that as well as gadgets which literally bend, it could also use the YOUM AMOLED technology to create wraparound displays that could cover two or more surfaces. That way, your phone could have a regular front screen that continues around to the side.
Mass production of the displays is tipped to be kicking off this quarter, with the first commercial applications later in 2012.