Start-up E Ink and LG.Philips LCD have created an "electronic paper" display measuring 10.1 inches across, the biggest one ever made, and the latest step toward the dream of e-books and magazines, according to the companies.
The prototype screen measures less than 300 microns thick, making it about as thin and flexible as construction paper. Letters and images that appear on it resemble characters and pictures printed with ordinary ink on paper, the companies said. The screen can also be rolled up.
The screens developed by E Ink rely on microcapsules that consist of oppositely charged black and white pigments floating in a clear fluid. The pigments rise or fall in the fluid, depending on an electrical charge. Thousands of microcapsules sandwiched between a piece of steel foil and a piece of clear plastic become the dots that form a black and white page. Unlike liquid crystal displays (LCDs), they don't need to be backlit for an image to be visible.
The thin display will not break like glass, the companies added. Sony has incorporated screens based on E Ink's technology in its Librie e-book. Intel and Philips are investors. (LG.Philips is a joint venture between South Korea's LG Electronics and Philips of the Nethelands.)
The prototype offers a resolution of 600 by 800, similar to CRT computer monitors and has a 10:1 contrast ratio. It was built on a test production line at LG.Philips, one of the biggest LCD manufacturers in the world.
The display will be shown at the FPD International trade show in Japan later this year.