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Fujitsu shows 'electronic paper' display

Posted: 15 Jul 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flexible color display? cholesteric liquid crystal display?

Fujitsu has developed a display, which is a film-based flexible color display and which has non-volatile capability being able to maintain an image without a power supply. Power is only required to change images, making the display energy efficient. The display is one of the anticipated demonstrations at a Fujitsu corporate exhibition being held Wednesday and Thursday (July 13 and 14) here.

The display is a passive-matrix, reflective type cholesteric liquid crystal display. Two 3.8-inch diagonal QVGA prototypes, a monochrome display and a color version able to display 512 colors, were shown.

The electronic display could replace paper in a number of applications, according to Fujitsu, ranging from information boards, billboards, posters to menus at restaurants to point-of-purchase tags. Fujitsu, Ltd. intends to introduce paper display products in its fiscal 2006 year, which runs from April 2006 to March 2007, the company said. The company has begun test marketing and field tests to find the first commercial applications of the display. Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., Fujitsu Frontech Ltd. and parent Fujitsu teamed to develop the display. Fujitsu Labs developed materials and display technology while Fujitsu Frontech contributed on production.

Differing from widely used flat displays that have color filters consisting of red, green and blue pixels, the paper display has a three layered structure in total about 0.8 mm thick. One layer consists of two 0.125 mm-thick films sandwiching liquid crystal. Cholesteric crystals in each layer are twisted in a certain pitch to reflect only red, green or blue light respectively.

Images on the screen can be changed with 10-milliwatts to 100-milliwatts depending on scanning speed.

Fujitsu's display is able to retain its image even when it is bent, said a spokesman of Fujitsu Labs. Conventional prototypes looses image on the screen when being bent, but Fujitsu team invented an adequate material and structure, said the spokesman, declining to go in detail.

As the display is a simple passive matrix driver chips are available off-the-shelf, so there are no big factors to push up the cost of the display, he said. For future, wider applications, the team will continue working on enlarging the display and increasing the color gamut.

- Yoshiko Hara

EE Times

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