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Sharp Reveals IGZO Display Technology for Two New Aquos Brand Devices

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October 25, 2012

Sharp Reveals IGZO Display Technology for Two New Aquos Brand Devices

By Daniel Brecht
Contributing Writer

Sharp's (News - Alert) Mobile Communications Division announced recently that its new indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) technology display technology is able to extend the life of the battery threefold for mobile handset devices.

The first IGZO-based LCD (liquid crystal display) screens will be featured on the Sharp Aquos Pad SHT21 tablet and its new Aquos Phone (News - Alert) Zeta SH-02E, both scheduled to hit the Japanese market sometime in December of this year.

For now, both the phone and the tablet will only be sold from the headquarters – Abeno-ku, Osaka, Japan – to domestic consumers. The Sharp executive Masami Ohbatake also told reporters in Tokyo that the new IGZO displays for their upcoming tablet and phone would be joined by many more products using the same technology.

Other than deciding to use OLED (organic light-emitting diode) for the display, Sharp Corporation (News - Alert) chose to employ IGZO (oxide semiconductors) and a backplane technology that can offer consumers newer, lower battery power consumption.

In addition to Sharp's IGZO screens, which are being used for either the OLED or LCD displays, the company is now ready to start manufacturing its "Aquos" brand as component screens for portable devices. The company has been focusing on developing smaller LCD screen displays that will offer great picture quality while consuming less energy than bigger size LCD panels for viewing photos and browsing the Web.

Up to now, Sharp has used both type of displays, OLED or LCD, and a thin-film transistor (TFT) to turn on and off individual pixels to create images. TFT LCDs are, for the most part, the most common type of display units for mobile handsets, but Sharp is betting big on their IGZO production: They claim consumers can expect that their IGZO LCD display panels will be able to win back its market share, if not rebuild business, in the mobile phone industry when their two Aquos devices hit the market.

According to Sharp’s Mobile update, with its next-generation liquid crystal display “power-saving” panels for their soon-to-be released Aquos devices,  the SHT21 tablet and Zeta SH-02E phone should be able to stand up against local rivals such as Fujitsu and Kyocera as well as foreign competitors like Apple (News - Alert) and Samsung.

At the moment, Sharp Corporation is the only company capable of mass producing IGZO panels. The company is certain its smaller-sized IGZO panels will offer enhanced image quality and low energy consumption, which will increase the battery life for mobile devices.

Edited by Braden Becker

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