Tuesday, May 29, 2007

E-paper products shown at SID

"LONG BEACH, Calif. — Electronic paper seems to be coming of age. E Ink Corp. exhibited a slew of recently launched products at the Society for Information Display conference here this week. The Cambridge, Mass., company also showed flexible-display prototypes from half a dozen E Ink customers, signaling a rapid advancement in flexible displays across the industry in the past year.

Meanwhile, Nemoptic, another e-paper contender, talked about its first-generation product for electronic shelf labels for grocery stores, a $10 billion market. Also at SID, Nemoptic is launching its A4 e-paper display for application in business and government offices and point-of-sale displays. The company has already shipped samples to major office equipment suppliers.

Notable "world firsts" using E Ink technologies included a flexible, color 14-inch electronic-paper panel from LG.Philips LCD on steel foil and the biggest-ever glass monochrome electronic-paper panel — 40 inches on the diagonal — from Samsung Electronics.

E Ink also announced that a research breakthrough in its ink chemistry has achieved video-switching speeds for the first time. "Our research team is demonstrating here an ultrabright ink that is approaching 50 percent reflectance of ambient light, compared to 35 percent in shipping monochrome products," said Michael McCreary, vice president of research and advanced development at E Ink.

Samsung Electronics demonstrated a 40-inch display using E Ink's Vizplex technology, which consumes 300 milliwatts at one frame per minute, or 1/500 the power consumption of a conventional LCD. Such a display using electronic ink would be appropriate for digital signage and office information applications, according to E Ink.

One of he most popular e-books incorporating E Ink displays is Arinc's eFlyBook, the General Aviation eReader used by commercial pilots to look up airport takeoff-and-landing approaches.

Six segments
Jacques Noels, CEO and president of the management board of Nemoptic, has defined six strategic segments with differentiated features and display sizes for his company's BiNem technology. They range from 1 x 3-inch electronic shelf labels to e-books, newspapers, albums and larger (10- to 14-inch) displays for the education and professional markets.

Nemoptic, headquartered near Paris with a production unit in Sweden, is applying its bistable nematic technology to LCDs. Display content remains on view without using any power thanks to the technology's internal-memory effect.

Nemoptic has signed on with Seiko Instruments Inc. for high-volume manufacturing of its bistable LCDs at Seiko's Microtechno plant in Akita, Japan. The first units are expected to roll out at the end of the second quarter. The Seiko plant has a worldwide reputation as one of the most modern sites for high-volume production of color supertwisted-nematic liquid-crystal displays."


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