New MEMS Display Uses 50% Less Power Than LCD Panel

Jun 6, 2014
Tetsuo Nozawa, Nikkei Electronics
Pixtronix's MEMS display exhibited in Sharp's booth at SID 2014
Pixtronix's MEMS display exhibited in Sharp's booth at SID 2014
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An enlarged image of the display
An enlarged image of the display
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Specifications of the MEMS display shown at Qualcomm's booth
Specifications of the MEMS display shown at Qualcomm's booth
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Sharp Corp announced that it will start shipment of a MEMS display developed based on Pixtronix Inc's technology in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Pixtronix Inc is a subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc. The announcement was made at SID 2014, an academic conference on display technologies, which runs from June 1 to 6, 2014, in San Diego, the US.

It has been about 11 years since the technology was reported for the first time and nine years since Pixtronix was established in 2005. And it will be finally commercialized.

This time, Sharp exhibited a 7-inch display whose pixel count and color depth are 1,280 x 800 and 24 bits, respectively. It has a 122% color gamut on NTSC standards. Its screen size is the same as that of the MEMS display that the company exhibited at SID 2013.

Different from normal LCD displays, the new display uses MEMS shutters for displaying video. It uses red (R), green (G) and blue (B) LEDs for backlighting and switches MEMS shutters at a speed of 100μs. Color display and gradation are realized by switching among RGB colors with a time-sharing method.

The most distinguished feature of the new display is its low power consumption.

"When 24 bits of colors are fully used, its power consumption is less than half that of LCD panel," Qualcomm Japan said.

When it comes to a monochrome display that is used mainly for displaying texts, its power consumption is 1/10 that of LCD panel, the company said.