Sharp readies color LCD for mobile phones

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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.

Sharp, in Osaka, can be contacted at +81-6-6621-1221 or at www.sharp.co.jp/.

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