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Last week LG.Philips LCD announced it had created the “world’s thinnest” thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) for mobile phones. Measuring 1.3 millimeters thick, it is pictured here as an LG.Philips representative holds up a quarter for perspective. The TFT-LCD was among the items showcased by the company at the Society for Information Display’s first Mobile Displays Conference, held this week in San Diego.
rnThinner displays, of course, invite production of slimmer handsets, so if you thought the Motorola Razr was skinny, phones with TFT-LCDs could add new meaning to the concept. The display maker says it doesn’t have any buyers for the TFT-LCD yet, but factories are already starting to churn them out. Look for this little guy in handsets due out in 2007.
LG.Philips LCD also showed off its entry in another category, that of the tiny active matrix organic light-emitting diode, or AM OLED. AM OLED will eventually be the main type of display used in tiny multimedia phones, said Hyuk Park, marketing manager for LG.Philips LCD. While not as skinny as the TFT-LCD, the AM OLED is 1.6 millimeters thick and has no backlight, which allows the display to fit into its svelte frame and decreases the drain on the phone’s battery. The source of light is a combination of light-emitting organic materials, and the display can produce 70 percent or more of the full range of colors. LG.Philips points out that this is necessary in order to meet consumers’ expectations for watching TV shows or movie clips on a screen that small. This technology is still two or three years away from showing up in any handsets.
LG.Philips LCD also showed off Pentile display technology, another type of thin display for mobile phones that aims to improve brightness while decreasing power consumption. Pentile technology has a high image resolution created by using a chip that allows the sub-pixels that make up each pixel in an LCD display to show up on the screen, creating a more detailed image.
This display is best viewed from the side. The In Plane Switching (IPS) display from LG.Philips LCD is yet another for mobile handsets, but wideness, not thinness, is the feature intended to set it apart from the rest of the field. The IPS display has a 170-degree viewing angle, which is very wide–almost like watching an LCD TV, said Hyuk Park, of LG.Philips.
rnAccording to Park, most older LCD screens on cell phones have 35-degree viewing angles, which doesn’t allow you to sneak a peek at the sports scores or TV show clips that the guy sitting next to you on the subway is watching on his handset. With IPS technology in that phone, LG.Philips says, you won’t have to strain your neck quite so much.