In response to rapidly expanding demand for slimmer TVs, Samsung Electronics LCD Business announced that it has begun mass producing what it claims is the industry's first ultra-slim LCD panels for large size TVs.

The edge-lit LED (light emitting diode) backlighting from Samsung is said to offer lighter weight and thinner designs, preferable for wall mounting over bulkier direct-lit LED LCDs. The LED-backlit panels are mercury-free and consume less energy. For example, a 55-inch HDTV with edge-lit LED backlighting is claimed to use up to 40% less power than conventional LCD TVs.

Just 10.8mm thick, the panels are only a fourth the thickness of conventional LCD panels currently in mass production and come in 40-, 46- and 55-inch diagonal sizes.

While a direct-lit LED backlight will project light forward across the full expanse of the display from the front, edge-lit LEDs emit light from a row of LEDs on the top and bottom of every panel, using less power. The edge-lit technology gathers the light towards the center of the display and bends it, reflecting it forward through a light-guide plate that precisely focuses the light for better picture quality.

Samsung said it has now resolved technical issues affecting development of a marketable edge-lit LED LCD display, including inadequate brightness across the entire screen, and overheating of the outside frames and light-guide plate.