Monday, May 17, 2010

Fujitsu announced a newly-enhanced color e-paper

Kawasaki and Tokyo, Japan, May 7, 2010 — Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. today announced the development of a newly-enhanced color electronic paper (e-paper) that features the world's highest-level color image quality. By extensively redesigning the panel structure and image re-write methods of Fujitsu's previous-version color e-paper, in addition to offering bright color, Fujitsu has improved contrast ratio to 7:1 (a threefold improvement compared to Fujitsu's previous version), and has made the image re-write speed twice as fast at 0.7 seconds compared to Fujitsu's previous color e-paper, thus enabling smooth image transitions and color display quality that is at the highest levels available for color e-paper.

Fujitsu's feature-enhanced new color e-paper will be exhibited as reference at Fujitsu Forum 2010, Fujitsu's largest annual event in Japan, to be held May 13 - 14 at Tokyo International Forum.

E-paper is being heralded as an environmentally friendly electronic display medium that is lightweight and thin like paper, consumes little power, and allows an image to be freely redrawn. While most e-paper applications to date - such as e-book readers - have been monochrome (black and white), Fujitsu Laboratories pioneered the development and practical use of color e-paper, and in 2007 Fujitsu Frontech Limited brought to market FLEPia, the world's first portable information terminal equipped with a color e-paper display.
With demand on the rise for e-paper in areas such as e-book readers and public advertisements, anticipation is mounting for e-paper technology that can display color.
Technological Challenges

Although extensive R&D in the industry has been conducted for e-paper, in the past as it had been difficult to simultaneously achieve various functionality, such as the ability to feature brightness in color, and simultaneously enhancing brightness and greater contrast ratios while achieving faster re-write speeds, there is anticipation for improvements in color e-paper featuring further enhanced display functionality.

Overview of Newly-developed Technology
The new feature-enhanced color e-paper developed by Fujitsu Laboratories and to be commercialized by Fujitsu Frontech employs a layered construction found in cholesteric liquid-crystal display (LCD) panels with an image memory function, and makes use of the reflective properties in each color layer where the cholesteric liquid crystals reflect a specific wavelength of light of red, green, or blue (Figure 2). Compared to the reflective displays using a color-filter array widely used in conventional LCDs, Fujitsu's cholesteric LCD method allows for a display that features colors with greater vibrancy and brightness.
Fujitsu's new feature-enhanced color e-paper has achieved the world's highest color-image quality, in an extremely slim film panel. Key features of the new color e-paper are as follows:
1. Vibrant color display
Fujitsu Laboratories developed a new liquid-crystal material with superior reflective characteristics that can reflect more incoming light, as well as widening the aperture ratio (the effective reflective region) of the display panel to minimize light loss, resulting in a reflectance of 33% (1.3 times brighter compared to Fujitsu's previous color e-paper).
2. High contrast ratio
With a panel structure that suppresses excess reflection caused by the scattering of incident light when displaying black, the new color e-paper features a 7:1 contrast ratio (three times greater than Fujitsu's previous color e-paper).
3. Smooth re-writing of the display image
A newly developed driver control method results in re-write speeds that are roughly twice as fast the speeds of Fujitsu's previous color e-paper, enabling the re-write display of a high-resolution image (1,024 x 768 XGA) in 0.7 seconds.

Enhanced brightness and contrast offered by Fujitsu's new color e-paper allows for more attractive, readable displays, while improvements in write speed result in smoother image transitions. These significant performance improvements in e-paper display technology have broadened its range of potential applications as a paper-like electronic media, such as applications in portable electronic media like e-book readers, public billboards and commercial advertising.

Future Developments
Fujitsu Frontech is scheduled to commercialize the new color e-paper technology this fall for the Japanese market. Fujitsu will continue with further development of its new color e-paper to apply it in portable information devices and other various applications.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mirasol modular color e-reader

Mirasol, a subsidiary of phone chipmaking giant Qualcomm, has been turning out tiny, clever colour screens for a while, but starting in the Autumn of next year, it’ll upscale its technology to 5.7-inch displays designed for e-readers. The display isn’t eInk, but a different technology that uses flexible membranes and a mirrored screen, which once set to a certain colour don’t need power to maintain. In other words, it allows for smooth colour e-reader displays without impacting battery life.

Mirasol’s screen isn’t backlit so is incredibly easy on the eye (221 dpi resolution), is full colour, and though the proof of concept here is a still, will even allow for 30Hz refresh rates – in other words, smooth video. Mirasol demoed video running smoothly on a smaller colour panel, and it was certainly watchable.

update: Video and more info can be found here:

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Monday, June 01, 2009

E Ink to be bought for $215M by Prime View International

NEW YORK (AP) — E Ink Corp., the maker of the innovative display for the Amazon Kindle e-book reader, said Monday it has agreed to be acquired by a Taiwanese company for $215 million.
The buyer is Prime View International, which has been Cambridge, Mass.-based E Ink's partner in making "electronic ink" displays for Inc. and Sony Corp.
The deal will help the combined company develop color versions of its displays and mass produce them by the end of 2010, said Sriram Peruvemba, E Ink's vice president of marketing. Current models show shades of gray.
Privately held E Ink is expected to demonstrate its latest color display prototypes Tuesday at a display technology show in San Antonio.
E Ink's displays are used in e-book readers because they look similar to regular paper and consume very little power. However, they take a relatively long time to switch between images, making navigation slow.
E Ink makes the top layer of the electronic ink displays, then ships them to Prime View, which adds a bottom layer that's similar to those used in LCD panels. Prime View bought the electronic ink technology of Royal Philips Electronics NV in 2005.
E Ink, which was spun off from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said it had raised more than $150 million from investors, including Intel Corp., Motorola Corp. and Hearst Corp. E Ink had first-quarter revenue of $18 million. It has not revealed whether it is profitable.
Peruvemba said E Ink expects to keep its offices and factory in Massachusetts and is continuing to hire, but the headquarters of the combined company will be in Taiwan.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Amazon inroduces Kindle DX

Introducing Kindle DX–Amazon’s Large Screen Addition to the Kindle Family of Wireless Reading Devices

Large Kindle DX Display and New Features Provide Enhanced Experience for Reading a Wide Range of Professional and Personal Documents
SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–May. 6, 2009–, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today introduced Amazon Kindle DX, the new purpose-built reading device that offers Kindle’s revolutionary wireless delivery and massive selection of content with a large 9.7-inch electronic paper display, built-in PDF reader, auto-rotate capability, and storage for up to 3,500 books. More than 275,000 books are now available in the Kindle Store, including 107 of 112 current New York Times Best Sellers. New York Times Bestsellers and New Releases are $9.99 unless marked otherwise. Top U.S. and international magazines and newspapers plus more than 1,500 blogs are also available. Kindle DX is available for pre-order starting today for $489 at and will ship this summer.

“Personal and professional documents look so good on the big Kindle DX display that you’ll find yourself changing ink-toner cartridges less often,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO. “Cookbooks, computer books, and textbooks – anything highly formatted – also shine on the Kindle DX. Carry all your documents and your whole library in one slender package.”

New Large Display

Kindle DX’s display has 2.5 times the surface area of Kindle’s 6-inch display. The larger electronic paper display with 16 shades of gray has more area for graphic-rich content such as professional and personal documents, newspapers and magazines, and textbooks. Kindle reads like printed words on paper because the screen works using real ink and doesn’t use a backlight, eliminating the eyestrain and glare associated with other electronic displays.

The New York Times Company and Washington Post Company are launching pilots with Kindle DX this summer. The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Washington Post will offer the Kindle DX at a reduced price to readers who live in areas where home-delivery is not available and who sign up for a long-term subscription to the Kindle edition of the newspapers.

“At The New York Times Company we are always seeking new ways for our millions of readers to have full and continuing access to our high-quality news and information,” said Arthur Sulzberger, Jr., chairman, The New York Times Company and publisher, The New York Times. “The wireless delivery and new value-added features of the Kindle DX will provide our large, loyal audience, no matter where they live, with an exciting new way to interact with The New York Times and The Boston Globe. Additionally, by offering a subscription through the Kindle DX to readers who live outside of our delivery areas, we will extend our reach to our loyal readers who will be able to more readily enjoy their favorite newspapers. Meanwhile, we are continuing to work with Amazon to make The New York Times and The Boston Globe experiences on Kindle better than ever.”

Kindle DX’s large display offers an enhanced reading experience with another category of graphic-rich content—textbooks. With complex images, tables, charts, graphs, and equations, textbooks look best on a large display. Leading textbook publishers Cengage Learning, Pearson, and Wiley, together representing more than 60 percent of the U.S. higher education textbook market, will begin offering textbooks through the Kindle Store beginning this summer. Textbooks under the following brands will be available: Addison-Wesley, Allyn & Bacon, Benjamin Cummings, Longman & Prentice Hall (Pearson); Wadsworth, Brooks/Cole, Course Technology, Delmar, Heinle, Schirmer, South-Western (Cengage); and Wiley Higher Education.

Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Princeton University, Reed College, and Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia will launch trial programs to make Kindle DX devices available to students this fall. The schools will distribute hundreds of Kindle DX devices to students spread across a broad range of academic disciplines. In addition to reading on a considerably larger screen, students will be able to take advantage of popular Kindle features such as the ability to take notes and highlight, search across their library, look up words in a built-in dictionary, and carry all of their books in a lightweight device.

“The Kindle DX holds enormous potential to influence the way students learn,” said Barbara R. Snyder, president of Case Western Reserve University. “We look forward to seeing how the device affects the participation of both students and faculty in the educational experience.”

New Built-In PDF Reader

Kindle DX features a built-in PDF reader using Adobe Reader Mobile technology for reading professional and personal documents. Like other types of documents on Kindle, customers simply email their PDF format documents to their Kindle email address or move them over using a USB connection. With a larger display and built-in PDF reader, Kindle DX customers can read professional and personal documents with more complex layouts without scrolling, panning, or zooming, and without re-flowing, which destroys the original structure of the document. Everything from annual reports with graphs to flight manuals with maps to musical scores can be viewed on a single, crisp screen with Kindle DX.

New Auto-Rotation

Kindle DX’s display content auto-rotates so users can read in portrait or landscape mode, or flip the device to read with either hand. Simply turn Kindle DX and immediately see full-width landscape views of maps, graphs, tables, images, and Web pages.

New 3.3 GB Memory Holds Up To 3,500 Books

With 3.3 GB of available memory, Kindle DX can hold up to 3,500 books, compared with 1,500 with Kindle. And because Amazon automatically backs up a copy of every Kindle book purchased, customers can wirelessly re-download titles from their library at any time.

Incredibly Thin

Kindle DX is just over a third of an inch thin, which is thinner than most magazines.

3G Wireless, No PC, No Hunting for Wi-Fi Hot Spots

Just like Kindle, Kindle DX customers automatically take advantage of Amazon Whispernet to wirelessly shop the Kindle Store, download or receive new content in less than 60 seconds, and read from their library—all without a PC, Wi-Fi hot spot, or syncing. Amazon still pays for the wireless connectivity on Kindle DX so books can be downloaded in less than 60 seconds—with no monthly fees, data plans, or service contracts.

Syncs With Kindle for iPhone and other Kindle Compatible Devices

Just like Kindle, Kindle DX uses Amazon Whispersync technology to automatically sync content across Kindle, Kindle DX, Kindle for iPhone, and other devices in the future. With Whispersync, customers can easily move from device to device and never lose their place in their reading.

Massive Selection of Books—Plus Newspapers, Magazines, and Blogs

The Kindle Store currently offers more than 275,000 books, including popular books like New York Times Bestsellers, New Releases, and fiction and nonfiction released in the past several years. Dozens of newspapers and magazines are also available for subscription or single-edition purchase. BusinessWeek and The New England Journal of Medicine are available in the Kindle Store starting today, and The Economist will be available soon. Subscriptions are auto-delivered wirelessly to Kindle overnight so that the latest edition is waiting for customers when they wake up. Over 1,500 blogs are available on Kindle and updated and downloaded wirelessly throughout the day.

Kindle DX includes all the other features Kindle customers enjoy every day, including:

Wirelessly send, receive, and read personal documents in a variety of formats such as Microsoft Word and PDF
Look up words instantly using the built-in 250,000 word New Oxford American Dictionary
Choose from six text sizes
Add bookmarks, notes, and highlights
Text-to-speech technology that converts words on a page to spoken word
Search Web,, Kindle Store, and your library of purchased content
No setup required—Kindle comes ready to use—no software to load or set up
Amazon Kindle is sold through Amazon Digital Services, Inc.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Bridgestone Develops Propietary Color E-paper Device with Pen-input Capability

Bridgestone Corp developed a color electronic paper (e-paper) device that supports pen input. The device combines the "QR-LPD," the company's e-paper device using its proprietary electronic powder and granular material, with a color filter and Wacom Co Ltd's electromagnetic induction type pen input tablet.

To enable the pen input, Bridgestone accelerated the screen refresh speed of the e-paper device. It now takes only 0.8 seconds to refresh the screen, whereas the company's previous A4-size e-paper device needs 10 to 15 seconds.

Although the company did not reveal the details, it quickened the refresh speed primarily by improving drive technologies, it said. This enhanced the device's ability to follow the pen input and enabled it to display input texts and graphics smoothly.

This e-paper device features a passive matrix panel. Bridgestone exhibited the new color e-paper device at a trade show taking place in Tokyo.

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