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Posted on February 1, 2010 by  & 

SID low power displays & touch screen technologies conference - day 1

Sharp Laboratories Europe, 26 & 27 January 2010

Power saving for displays is becoming more and more interesting as efforts continue in all industries to lower power consumption together with producing energy from sustainable sources. Displays have been known to be hungry for power, with some technologies known to be much less "green" than others (e.g. plasma displays).
Cliff Jones of ZBD displays presented on the companies LC displays used for shelf-edge labeling, describing how, with their technology, these labels could achieve several years of lifetime using two button batteries. The key to that is in the way the display content is refreshed and the necessary shelf label lifetimes can be reached by reaching an average of about 8 refreshes per day. As Mr. Jones described, electrophoretic displays are brighter but are still currently much more expensive and do not lead to a cost effective solution.
Sharp Laboratories of Europe hosted the event and Valerie Bousquet gave a very comprehensive presentation on backlighting technologies for LCDs, and went on to describe the benefits of using LED backlight lighting rather than cold cathode fluorescent lighting (CCFL) which has been the norm so far.
Together with the presentation, a small exhibition and comparison of a CCFL and an LED backlit, SHARP AQUOS display demonstrated the difference in the amount of power required for each set (the LED TV requiring less than half the power than the CCFL one did). Valerie though went on to say that the upfront cost of LED TVs is still quite high, meaning that when compared to a CCFL one, the cost could be between US$300 and US$700 higher.
Liquavista also presented at the conference and demonstrated a demo of their electrowetting technology, with a screen similar to the size of the Amazon Kindle screen, with refresh rates adequate for video playback of very high quality. The display was also a colour display, with current issues being that it's only about 20% reflective. It was still quite bright and much easier to see under bright lighting, and as Andrea Giraldo of Liquavista said during his presentation, the company's roadmap describes aiming for a 30% reflectivity in the next couple of years. As expected, in the future Liquavista is aiming to target much larger industries than those of e-book readers, but moving on to secondary and primary displays for mobile phones, and eventually, larger displays for notebooks, laptops, etc.
The second part of this article will describe the 2nd day of the conference, focusing on touch screen technologies.
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Principal Analyst

Posted on: February 1, 2010

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