Sharp readies color LCD for mobile phones

InfoWorld |  Hardware

SHARP HAS DEVELOPED a new LCD for use in mobile phone handsets that boasts more colors and faster refresh rates than most existing displays.

The STN (super twisted nematic) screen, which will enter mass production in June, is capable of displaying 65,536 colors, said a spokeswoman for Sharp. The breakthrough was made possible with the development of a new LCD driver chip.

Existing color displays for mobile phones are only capable of displaying 256 colors. Additionally, the new LCD has a refresh rate of 15 frames per second, five times that of current displays, which have a maximum refresh rate of three frames per second.

Cellular telephones with color screens hit the Japanese market in the second half of 2000, although all, bar one, have 256-color displays. The sole model available with a 65,536 color display is also made by Sharp, but is based on the much more expensive TFT (thin film transistor) technology. An STN model of the display will be able to cut the cost of handsets and extend battery life because of lower power consumption.

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