Corning unveils slimmer, flexible Willow Glass

Posted:
in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
Apple partner Corning on Monday announced its new Willow Glass, an ultra-slim glass that is also flexible, allowing for companies to make devices with new shapes.

Corning's new Willow Glass was unveiled at the Display Week tradeshow in Boston, Mass., put on by the Society for Information Display. The company said the new material could "revolutionize the shape and form" of next-gen electronic devices.

"Corning Gorilla Glass will enable thin, light and cost-efficient applications including today's slim displays and smart surfaces of the future," the company said. "The thinness, strength, and flexibility of the glass has the potential to enable displays to be 'wrapped' around a device or structure."

The new Willow Glass can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees Celsius, and will enable manufacturers to pursue high-temperature roll-to-roll processes, similar to how newsprint is made.

Corning's Gorilla Glass will support thinner backplanes and color filters for both OLED and LCD displays. It can be used in smartphones, tablets and notebook computers.

"Corning Willow Glass provides the substrate performance to maintain device quality in a thin and light form factor,? said Dr. Dipak Chowdhury, division vice president and Willow Glass program director. "Currently manufacturing in a sheet-to-sheet process, we expect Corning Willow Glass to eventually allow customers to switch to high-throughput, efficient roll-to-roll processing, a long-awaited industry milestone."

Corning Willow Glass


Last month, one report claimed that Apple had shown interest in flexible OLED displays from Samsung. Those kinds of displays, combined with Corning's new Willow Glass, would allow electronics makers to create touchscreen devices with more unique curved surfaces.

Earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show, Corning announced its Gorilla Glass 2, which is just 0.8 millimeters thick and can withstand 121 pounds of pressure. Even though the new Gorilla Glass is up to 20 percent thinner than its predecessor, it maintains the same levels of strength and durability.

Apple doesn't typically publicly name its component suppliers, but for years the company was presumed to be using Corning's Gorilla Glass for products like the iPhone and iPad. But earlier this year, Apple confirmed that Corning is indeed a supplier, and Gorilla Glass built in Kentucky is found on its portable devices.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 49
    sandyfsandyf Posts: 42member


    Moore's Law applied to glass?!?

  • Reply 2 of 49
    jason98jason98 Posts: 756member


    When are we going to see flexible iPhone from Apple? Likely never :( 


    They won't be able to make the Home button flexible.

  • Reply 3 of 49
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    jason98 wrote: »
    When are we going to see flexible iPhone from Apple? Likely never :( 
    They won't be able to make the Home button flexible.

    A flexible display allows vendors to make curved surfaces but you still have the guts of the device not being bendable.

    On top of that, why would you need an iPhone that bends? I can't think of a case that would give the user an advantage.
  • Reply 4 of 49
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    On top of that, why would you need an iPhone that bends? I can't think of a case that would give the user an advantage.


     


    Tactile feedback. So when the screen shows a sack of rice, a soft plastic cup with pudding inside, a breast, or any fabric, you can touch it and have the same thing happen to your phone as would the real object when you interact with it.

  • Reply 5 of 49
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,142member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Sandyf View Post


    Moore's Law applied to glass?!?



     


    No. It's called the age of Material Science Engineering and EE has nothing to do with it.

  • Reply 6 of 49
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,243member


    I'm not too into the glass being bendable on an iPhone/iPad screen.  I like the rigid feel of glass.  If it bends as I push my finger on it, it will give it that plasticky feeling.  Leave that stuff to Android products please.

  • Reply 7 of 49
    silvergunsilvergun Posts: 62member


    This sounds good for a potential Apple headset.

  • Reply 8 of 49
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    sandyf wrote: »
    Moore's Law applied to glass?!?
    No. It's called the age of Material Science Engineering and EE has nothing to do with it.

    Carroll's Law?
  • Reply 9 of 49
    softekysofteky Posts: 129member
    sflocal wrote: »
    I'm not too into the glass being bendable on an iPhone/iPad screen.  I like the rigid feel of glass.  If it bends as I push my finger on it, it will give it that plasticky feeling.  Leave that stuff to Android products please.

    Devices you can strap on your wrist/arm or leg (pilot board). Use it as a facemask for all-round augmented reality display. Get in your car, unwrap it slightly, mount it above your dash and it becomes the viewscreen/customizable HUD in your car. Could lead to a whole new type of device/experience.

    I, for one, welcome our new flexible overlords.
  • Reply 10 of 49
    charlitunacharlituna Posts: 7,193member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by jason98 View Post


    When are we going to see flexible iPhone from Apple? Likely never :( 


    They won't be able to make the Home button flexible.



    who says they will keep the home button. 


     


    that said I agree that a flexible iPhone seems very unlikely. But Apple might still use these parts of the displays are crisp with great color and low battery use and the glass is shatter and scratch proof etc. and of course if the price is right

  • Reply 11 of 49
    drblankdrblank Posts: 3,383member


    I don't think they are going to make iPads or iPhones with a curved screen.

  • Reply 12 of 49
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member


    A surface you control in a million ways by touch—like iOS and the systems “inspired” by iOS—works best with a perfect flat surface. Just like it’s easier to write on a desk than a jar. If a smartphone tries a curved screen as a gimmick, stay away.


     


    But some special-use devices will have some new styling options thanks to this. It’s certainly impressive even if I don’t see it helping Apple much.

  • Reply 13 of 49


    Obviously we wont be seeing any bendable iPhones, but does flexible = break resistant?

  • Reply 14 of 49
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,513member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post




    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    On top of that, why would you need an iPhone that bends? I can't think of a case that would give the user an advantage.


     


    Tactile feedback. So when the screen shows a sack of rice, a soft plastic cup with pudding inside, a breast, or any fabric, you can touch it and have the same thing happen to your phone as would the real object when you interact with it.



    So the phone is going to slap you in the face?

  • Reply 15 of 49
    sailorpaulsailorpaul Posts: 290member
    [COLOR=blue][/COLOR]No need for the iPhone hardware to slap you for that "grope".. Siri will respond just fine on her own.
  • Reply 16 of 49
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    quinney wrote: »
    So the phone is going to slap you in the face?

    I feel like I'm getting slapped in the face every time I use an Android phone.
  • Reply 17 of 49
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by quinney View Post

    So the phone is going to slap you in the face?



    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

    I feel like I'm getting slapped in the face every time I use an Android phone.


     


    Frownsmile.png

  • Reply 18 of 49
    gazoobeegazoobee Posts: 3,754member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by september11th View Post


    Obviously we wont be seeing any bendable iPhones, but does flexible = break resistant?



     


    Flexible does indeed imply "break resistant" but odds are you are thinking of the shattering effect which this would not be immune to.  


    The odds are this screen is actually more likely to break (in the "screen shattering" sense) than the current iPhone screen is. The very fact that they don't mention it's shatter resistance is a sure indicator.  


     


    I find it amusing myself that so many many people criticise Apple for using glass screens and bitch about the shattering thing but the minute there is mention of bendy glass, they are all like "I need five devices made of this right now and here's my list."  Stupid.  


     


    Also amusing that so many people are unaware of and don't even bother to think about the difference between "flexible" and "I can fold it up like origami!"  The iPhone screen is already almost as flexible as this glass is for instance and while we have extremely bendable, even rollable OLED screens already, there are none that can actually fold and not leave a mark or have a seam.  People just see the "flexible" word and assume all their craziest science eviction dreams are about to come true.  

  • Reply 19 of 49

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post


     


    Tactile feedback. So when the screen shows a sack of rice, a soft plastic cup with pudding inside, a breast, or any fabric, you can touch it and have the same thing happen to your phone as would the real object when you interact with it.



     


    A breast, you say?

  • Reply 20 of 49
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,548member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post





    Apple doesn't typically publicly name its component suppliers, but for years the company was presumed to be using Corning's Gorilla Glass for products like the iPhone and iPad. But earlier this year, Apple confirmed that Corning is indeed a supplier, and Gorilla Glass built in Kentucky is found on its portable devices.


    Come on, everyone knows the entire Apple product line and their components are made in China. That's what the media says and you always trust the media.


     


    /s

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