GAFA tax: Companies have received their tax notice

"Companies subject to this tax have received a tax notice for the payment of the 2020 installments," said Bruno Lemaire. Not to mention the possible wrath of the American authorities, the GAFA have already taken the lead. Here's how.   The negotiations on the digital tax at the OECD have come to naught. “We had suspended the collection of the tax until the OECD negotiations were concluded. This negotiation failed, so we will collect a tax on the digital giants next December, "explained Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of the Economy, in mid-October. "Companies subject to this tax have received a tax notice for the payment of the 2020 installments," the Ministry of the Economy said today. Facebook and Amazon "are among the companies" which have been notified "in recent days", assures for its part the Financial Times. So after firing the first ones, what should the French authorities expect from now on? Has

Samsung's future displays could display 10,000 pixels per inch

Technology: Samsung and Stanford University have just presented a new OLED architecture that could contain 10,000 pixels per inch (ppi) and be a revolution for the display market. 

Samsung's future displays could display 10,000 pixels per inch

In the race to create ever brighter and more precise displays, researchers have taken a new step. A new architecture of the OLED, based on a technology originally designed for ultra-thin solar panels, could thus contain 10,000 pixels per inch (ppi), thus achieving a resolution level much higher than that of the currently found in smartphones and advanced televisions.

The result of a collaboration between researchers at Stanford University and the Samsung Institute for Advanced Technology (SAIT), this technology harnesses a so-called "metaphotonic" material that can control light in new ways.

OLED TVs currently display a pixel density of around 100-200 ppi, while the resolution of newer smartphones is around 400-500 ppi. But in addition to setting new pixel density records, new Samsung and Stanford OLED displays built on the basis of this metaphotonic material could be brighter and show better color accuracy, while costing less to produce. 

A new concept of OLED

As a reminder, OLED (Organic Light-emitting Diode) displays are based on tiny organic compounds that emit light when stimulated by an electric current. The pixels on the screen are made up of stacks of emitters, each of which produces a red, green or blue light. By controlling the cluster of emitting diodes, it is therefore possible to create colors visible to the human eye on the screen.

In smartphone OLED displays, each screen emitter typically produces one of the primary colors, then is pressed against a sheet of metal that filters out the correct diodes to control the makeup of each pixel. TV screens, on the other hand, use white OLEDs, which emit all three primary colors at the same time. Filters are then placed on the emitters to determine the final color of the diode, in order to produce the correct pixel.

Both methods have their drawbacks: the thick sheets of metal applied to the colored diodes limit the scale of the display, while the colored filters applied to the white emitters are more power hungry.

A fruitful collaboration

With these limitations in mind, SAIT Scientific Officer Won-Jae Joo found himself a few years ago attending a presentation by Stanford graduate student Majid Esfandyarpour on a topic apparently unrelated to the question: the design of solar panels. The latter was studying the possibility of creating new materials, called "metamaterials", to manipulate light in the design of ultra-thin solar cells.

The Samsung researcher immediately saw how this idea could apply to OLED displays. He was therefore in the process of establishing a partnership between the Korean giant and Stanford. At the heart of the new OLED architecture, which researchers have now unveiled, is a base layer called an “optical metasurface,” made of reflective metal and studded with microscopic pillars that together “crinkle” the surface of the layer.

These pillars, thanks to their different sizes and layouts, can manipulate the different wavelengths that are specific to red, blue and green lights. When white light falls on the pillars, they in turn can "assign" a specific primary color to the diodes facing them. In this way, the different patterns of the pillars on the metasurface define different colors. The researchers compared this process to the resonance of sound in the cavities of a musical instrument. 

Virtual and augmented reality applications

The researchers succeeded in producing miniature proof-of-concept pixels in laboratory tests using the new method, with promising results. Compared to OLEDs used in televisions, the metaphotonic material allows for greater color purity and twice the luminescence efficiency, which means the screen is brighter and uses less power.

The displays could therefore benefit from a considerable improvement in quality if OLED displays based on the new architecture proposed by researchers at Stanford and Samsung enter commercial production. But TV and smartphone makers won't be the only ones to benefit from this extra pixel density.

“For micro-displays close to the eye, for example in virtual and augmented reality applications, the required pixel density is several thousand pixels per inch and cannot be achieved by current display technologies. “, Explain the researchers. “An ultra-high density of 10,000 pixels per inch easily meets the demands of next-generation micro-displays, which can be fabricated onto eyeglasses or contact lenses. "

For years, VR headset makers have attempted to fine-tune the quality of visuals to deliver on the promise of "immersive experiences." With today's screens, however, it can't be said that users consistently get a compelling experience in virtual worlds. Virtual reality headsets are placed a few inches from the wearer's eyes, which means high resolutions are essential for creating lifelike visuals. The researchers are therefore convinced that metasurfaces will provide unprecedented levels of detail that could be game-changing for the industry. Enough to push Samsung to further accelerate its next development steps to integrate the meta-OLED proof of concept into a full-size screen.