Sharp goes IGZO for new high-res panels

April 16, 2012 // 9:55 a.m.

Tags: #igzo #indium-gallium-zinc-oxide #lcd #lcd-panel #sharp #tft #thin-film-transistor

Sharp has announced the creation of its latest high-resolution display panels, which use indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) technology for massively reduced power draw.

Manufactured at Sharp's Kameyama Plant in Japan, the display panels use IGZO semiconductors to reduce the size of the thin-film transistor layer while simultaneously increasing pixel transparency. The result: high-resolution display panels that require a less powerful backlight, for an overall reduction in power draw of up to 90 per cent.

While production of the IGZO-based displays began back in March, the company has only just announced products based on the panels as it works to ramp up production ahead of a commercial roll-out.

For those who like plenty of pixels at their disposal, this is the exciting bit: the first display to feature the IGZO panels is a 32in model with a whopping 3,840 x 2,160 pixel resolution for a total of 140 pixels per inch. For a display of its size, that's undeniably impressive.

Intel's prediction of a high-resolution future is proved with Sharp's second IGZO-based product: a 10in panel for ultra-portable laptops and tablets boasting a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 for an overall density of 300 pixels per inch - handily beating the smaller 2,048 x 1,536 'retina' display found in Apple's new iPad.

Finally, Sharp's smallest IGZO panel is a seven-inch unit designed for tablet PCs with a somewhat disappointing resolution of 1,280 x 800. Although meeting the 720p High Definition standard, it's overshadowed by its 10in brother - despite having an overall density of 217 pixels per inch.

Each panel has, in addition to the clever IGZO thin-film transistor layer, the UV2A*3 technology originally developed for Sharp's consumer-oriented Aquos HDTVs. Using UV2A*3, Sharp claims, results in a dramatic improvement in overall image quality.

Sharp won't be using the panels itself, however. Instead, it aims to provide the panels to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and original design manufacturers (ODMs) for use in stand-alone PC monitors, all-in-one systems, laptops and tablets. Thus far, the company has not indicated whether any OEMs or ODMs have signed up for the first production run - although Sharp does claim to be experiencing high market demand for the parts.
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