E Ink, Sharp team on display backplanes

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

E Ink is to use indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) backplanes from Sharp Display Technology for its ePaper modules

E Ink has been developing the use of oxide thin film transistors (TFTs) for electrophoretic technology for over ten years, and will expand its ePaper product portfolio based on the oxide TFT technology.

Sharp was the first to mass produce oxide TFTs for displays in 2012. These have high mobility and low leakage current, allowing smaller transistors to be used to provide the same current. This means faster switching and lower power consumption in the display.

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E Ink and SDTC have been working together for two years to bring oxide TFTs for ePaper displays into the market. The 8in 300dpi display has a switching time of 0.35s for black and white and 0.5 to 1.5s for colour.

“Joining forces with SDTC further demonstrates E Ink’s commitment to enhance ePaper display performance,” said Johnson Lee, CEO of E Ink. “SDTC’s vision is to develop an oxide TFT technology that can service different types of displays and circuits, and SDTC is committed to continue to invest in the development of oxide TFTs. E Ink looks forward to our partnership with SDTC.”

“SDTC is excited that E Ink chose SDTC as an oxide TFT partner to bring the next generation of ePaper displays to market,” said Chien-Erh Wang, President of SDTC. “SDTC is the market leader and pioneer in oxide TFT research and development and is also the first display company that has mass produced oxide TFTs. E Ink is the market leader in ePaper displays, and the joining of these two companies is a natural progression.”

Going forward, E Ink and SDTC will explore the use of IGZO for larger sizes for signage applications in retail and transportation. In addition, Sharp Group will also consider collaborative models with E Ink for various ePaper applications.

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