Qualcomm and Sharp said the new type of panel,
called MEMS-IGZO after their respective display technologies,
uses less energy and can withstand harsher temperatures than the
liquid crystal displays (LCD) used in most smartphones and
"LCD is really hitting its limits in a lot of things. We can go
brighter and this is the first generation of this technology,"
said Greg Heinzinger, senior vice president of Qualcomm's
technology licensing division and president of Pixtronix, at a
briefing at Sharp's Tokyo office on Friday.
Sharp is hoping that innovative display technologies can sustain
its recovery from a massive 545.4 billion yen ($5.34 billion)
net loss in the year to March 2013, with its dependence on
panels for operating profit approaching 50 percent.
The MEMS-IGZO panels, which use a high-speed shutter to display
images, boast brighter colours than LCD panels as they do not
require a color filter, allowing more illumination from the
Sharp said it will market the new technology to automakers, and
makers of industrial devices, smartphones and tablets, and aims
to start mass-production in 2017. It has built a test line for
the technology at its factory in Tottori prefecture on Japan's
Before then, Sharp hopes to release curved LCD panels with its
'Free Form Display' technology, unveiled in June, which it
showcased on Friday with a car dashboard featuring three
illuminated circular dials.
Qualcomm entered a capital alliance with Sharp in December 2012,
investing 10.8 billion yen in the company over the following six
months, making it Sharp's third-largest shareholder at
(Reporting by Sophie Knight; Editing by Ryan Woo)
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