October 19, 2005 4:15 PM PDT

Finally, electronic paper big enough to use

Start-up E Ink and LG.Philips LCD have created an "electronic paper" display measuring 10.1 inches across, the biggest one ever made, and the latest step toward the dream of e-books and magazines, according to the companies.

The prototype screen measures less than 300 microns thick, making it about as thin and flexible as construction paper. Letters and images that appear on it resemble characters and pictures printed with ordinary ink on paper, the companies said. The screen can also be rolled up.

The screens developed by E Ink rely on microcapsules that consist of oppositely charged black and white pigments floating in a clear fluid. The pigments rise or fall in the fluid, depending on an electrical charge. Thousands of microcapsules sandwiched between a piece of steel foil and a piece of clear plastic become the dots that form a black and white page. Unlike liquid crystal displays (LCDs), they don't need to be backlit for an image to be visible.

The thin display will not break like glass, the companies added. Sony has incorporated screens based on E Ink's technology in its Librie e-book. Intel and Philips are investors. (LG.Philips is a joint venture between South Korea's LG Electronics and Philips of the Nethelands.)

The prototype offers a resolution of 600 by 800, similar to CRT computer monitors and has a 10:1 contrast ratio. It was built on a test production line at LG.Philips, one of the biggest LCD manufacturers in the world.

The display will be shown at the FPD International trade show in Japan later this year.

10 comments

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A 10:1 contrast ratio?
Most commercial LCD screens have a contrast ratio of 500:1 or better. A 10:1 contrast ratio is, frankly, unreadable. :(
Posted by Peet42 (42 comments )
Reply Link Flag
unreadable?
Yes, the contrast ratio seems kind of low. It seems to me that at this point it's only good for folding into electronic paper airplanes.:)
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R.K.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/" target="_newWindow">http://www.Remove-All-Spyware.com/</a>
Posted by Roman12 (214 comments )
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Who is wtortorici ?
I posted under my own name earlier, and the system credited it to wtortorici... :-/
Posted by Peet42 (42 comments )
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Who the * is wtortorici ?
My name is Peet McKimmie. Every time I post it's credited to wtortorici. I'm not happy.
Posted by Peet42 (42 comments )
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No it doesn't
Your correct name shows up. I've seen you make this complaint before in comments and it's always shown your correct name.

To us, anyhow.

Sounds like a weird bug to report directly to CNET.
Posted by TV James (680 comments )
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10:1
If I remember correctly these first displays were to be "black and white" displays to show text hence usage of ebooks and the like. I believe the contrast is the maximum black to white and due to managing power consumption on how eink works this should be more than enough. For a highly technical explanation this might help.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/display/20040226/contrast_ratio-01.html" target="_newWindow">http://graphics.tomshardware.com/display/20040226/contrast_ratio-01.html</a>
Posted by chuchucuhi (233 comments )
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contrast ratio - not that simple
That article

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/display/20040226/contrast_ratio-01.html" target="_newWindow">http://graphics.tomshardware.com/display/20040226/contrast_ratio-01.html</a>

has a good explanation, but it is a bit more complicated, since you would need to take into account the reflection from the ambient light.
So the 500:1 contrast ratio is for indoors, but in sunlight, this value decreases rapidly (try reading an LCD in bright sunlight).

As for the Librie, the 10:1 contrast ratio is sufficient, since it is a technology based on reflectance of the ambient light (like a newspaper - there the contrast ratio is similar to the librie), so you won't be able to read it in the dark (unless you use a torch or there is a light incorporated), but in sunlight you can read it very well (like the newspaper).
Posted by Flexi-DisPlay (2 comments )
Link Flag
contrast ratio - not that simple
That article

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://graphics.tomshardware.com/display/20040226/contrast_ratio-01.html" target="_newWindow">http://graphics.tomshardware.com/display/20040226/contrast_ratio-01.html</a>

has a good explanation, but it is a bit more complicated, since you would need to take into account the reflection from the ambient light.
So the 500:1 contrast ratio is for indoors, but in sunlight, this value decreases rapidly (try reading an LCD in bright sunlight).

As for the Librie, the 10:1 contrast ratio is sufficient, since it is a technology based on reflectance of the ambient light (like a newspaper - there the contrast ratio is similar to the librie), so you won't be able to read it in the dark (unless you use a torch or there is a light incorporated), but in sunlight you can read it very well (like the newspaper).
Posted by Flexi-DisPlay (2 comments )
Link Flag
 

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