March 23, 2006
 

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Posted: 07.01.05

Electronic “Paper” is Close at Hand

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By Jana McAuliffe




Phillips Polymer Vision is working to meet a rising demand from business users with rollable displays. Its new device, the PV-QML5, allows for larger displays in mobile devices without increasing size, weight or power consumption. Phillips has announced that it will begin mass production within the next two years. Karl McGoldrick, CEO of Phillips Polymer Vision, notes that content will be a major market force driving mobile adoption, stressing that “rollable displays will revolutionize the level of convenience with which we can access greater volumes of information while on the move.”

Roll-up displays are designed to be peeled out of a mobile device and unrolled for viewing. The screen itself is 13 centimeters wide, only 0.1 millimeter thick and offers a 320 x 240 pixel active matrix display. Phillips says the new screens give “paper-like” viewing comfort, offering a high contrast ratio (10:1) and a crisp display even in bright daylight, as they are not backlit like LCD screens. When not in use, the rollable screen fits back into the device in a housing with a diameter of 15 millimeters. Phillips hopes to license the technology to producers of smartphones, mobile Web browsers and in-car satellite navigation equipment.

Another perk is that the new screens use very little power, thanks to a technology licensed from E Ink. Charged black and white particles adhere to the display panel in response to an electronic field. The particles stay in place even when the current is removed, so the image takes no energy to maintain, only to change. According to E Ink, this type of display can enable 90 percent power savings. Recently, Intel invested an undisclosed amount of money into E Ink. Ken Titlebaum, VP of finance at E Ink, says that it will be using this money for increased research and development. E Ink also commented that Intel brings a wealth of resources beyond mere capital. •
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