Now In Color - E Ink Shows Advanced Electronic Paper
Press release from the issuing company
TOKYO, Oct. 17 -- E Ink Corporation, the leading source of electronic paper display (EPD) technology, and Toppan Printing Co. Ltd., the world's leading supplier of Color Filters for the flat panel display industry, today announced that their engineers have built a full-color electronic paper display that is suitable for mass production. The display will be shown at the E Ink booth of the annual FPD International trade show in Japan attended by over 60,000 visitors from around the world.
This electronic paper color prototype achieves 12-bit color in a 400x300 pixel format with resolution of 83 pixels per inch, using a custom color filter from strategic partner Toppan. The color filter design has a high-brightness layout (RGBW) that preserves the paper-like whiteness of the background page while enabling deep blacks for text and a range of colors and tones for images. A smart algorithm uses color sub-pixels to smooth black and white text, for enhanced legibility equivalent to a printer. The display diagonal is 6 inches, similar to a paperback book in size.
"No one has ever shown a low-power color display that looks this good and can be mass manufactured in a practical way," said Russ Wilcox, CEO at E Ink. "The gates are finally open for product designers to use color electronic paper in mobile devices."
E Ink's electronic ink technology creates an image that looks like a printed page from all angles and maintains the same contrast ratio under all lighting conditions, including direct sunlight. Aimed at handheld devices, the display uses up to 100 times less energy than a standard liquid crystal display (LCD), so product designers can shed weight and greatly extend battery life.
"Supporting a graphical user interface is critical for mobile devices," said Ryosuke Kuwada, VP of Sales and Marketing at E Ink. "Unlike printed paper, our display can be updated in a fraction of a second, enabling menus, scroll bars and animation. The screen can easily switch between black and white text or color windows and icons."
One application for the color electronic paper display module is for seeing digital information outdoors. Digital cameras, ATMs, kiosks, GPS devices and electronic signs can be seen clearly even under sunlight using the new display module. The display will also be useful for any portable electronic device that has a battery. The new display module will let cellphones, PDAs, and wireless tablets run substantially longer on a single charge, enabling designers to make the devices more compact by cutting battery size and weight.
Mass production of color electronic paper displays is expected to start at the end of 2006, with future plans for flexible versions.
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