Hitachi Develops Electronic Paper with WLAN Capability and Secondary Battery

Jul 21, 2005
A key target application is public building signboards.
A key target application is public building signboards.
[Click to enlarge image]
A new screen image is being displayed
A new screen image is being displayed
[Click to enlarge image]

At a private show held at the Tokyo International Forum from July 20 to 21, 2005, Hitachi, Ltd. presented a 13.1-inch monochrome electronic paper (e-paper) featuring a wireless LAN (WLAN) system and a secondary battery pack. The company is planning to place it on the market around April 2006 at a lower price than LCD panels. A targeted application is signboards at public buildings.

The toner-based e-paper's resolution reaches up to 100 dpi. Hitachi completed the product by mounting components including an IEEE802.11b WLAN chip and a Li-ion secondary battery pack onto the back of the panel which is manufactured by the company itself. The thickness of the e-paper, including the secondary battery pack, is about 1 cm.

Using the WLAN system, the e-paper is capable of downloading screen images from servers. Hitachi explained the embedded secondary battery can power the e-paper for about several months, although the battery life changes depending on how frequently the screen image is changed. At the show, the company demonstrated the e-paper changing the screen image by connecting to a server through a mobile phone. The whole screen turned black once when trying to show new content and it took about 10 seconds before it switched to a new whole image.

Motonobu Kawai, Nikkei Electronics