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Epson eyes e-paper market

Posted: 23 May 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:e-paper? high resolution? image?

Seiko Epson Corp. recently emerged at the Society for Information Display (SID) conference as the latest in a string of E Ink Corp. licensees bringing e-paper products to market.

The company demonstrated several active-matrix electrophoretic displays (EPDs), based on low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) thin-film transistors, with unusually high resolution.

"Creating a high-resolution image that looks like ink on paper was motivated by the company's traditional involvement with real paper in the printer business," a company spokesman said.

Epson demonstrated a 6.7-inch diagonal display with a 1,200 x 1,600-pixel format, yielding a resolution of approximately 300-pixel/inch; and a 13.4-inch diagonal display in a 3,104 x 4,128-pixel format with 385-pixel/inch resolution.

The company has e-book reader applications in mind, and it is also exploring other e-paper applications that would be "thinner and lighter than e-books." The combination of E Ink's EPD technology and Epson's LTPS technology, the spokesman said, enables the fabrication of displays that are "as big as what one might want to be." Its commercialization is expected soon.

For E Ink, it has demonstrated its latest design win at its SID booth: a Hitachi cellphone with a display "skin" that lets users personalize their phones. The phone offers 95 different patterns on its front face, including a butterfly that moves across the screen and grows when the phone rings.

Kent Displays Inc. showcased a concept cellphone at SID that uses the company's cholesteric-LCD e-paper technology to personalize a phone. The spokesman said a stack of red, green and blue subdisplays gives the user a choice of what front face colors to use: eight colors are shown in the demo but a wide range of palette can be made available.

- David Lieberman
EE Times

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