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LCD turns down the lights

Sharp has developed a color liquid crystal display that does not use a back light, dramatically reducing the size and power consumption of the display.

Sharp has developed a color liquid crystal display that does not use a back light, dramatically reducing the size and power consumption of the display.

Based on thin-film-transistor technology, the "reflective" display uses ambient light rather than the type of back light now used in all notebook LCDs. It consumes about a tenth of the power of conventional back-lit LCDs, the company said.

This will allow extended battery life on personal digital assistants and subnotebook-class computers used for the Internet, Sharp said. The thickness of the display is less than half that of conventional LCDs, making it extremely lightweight, the company said.

Reflective LCDs have typically been monochromatic and have not been based on thin-film-transistor technology. LCDs based on that technology deliver the highest-quality images.