updated 04:50 pm EDT, Fri June 19, 2009
AUO shows touch e-paper
Taiwan's AU Optronics showed off an electronic book reader that combines a low-power electronic paper and a touch panel, a first for this type of product at the Display Taiwan 2009 show. The 6-inch prototype houses 800x600 pixels and has a 167dpi pixel density. It is capable of reproducing 16 gray levels, has an 8:1 contrast ratio and a reflectance of 27 percent. The touch functionality allows users to call up new pages without any dedicated buttons.
The e-book reader used Microcup technology from SiPix Imaging, which was purchased by AU Optronics in March. SiPix was showing a version without the touch panel, with identical specs save for a 33 percent reflectance and a modest 7:1 contrast ratio.
While the prototype is not flexible as it uses a glass substrate, AU Optronics may develop a flexible backplane circuit board such as organic TFT to make the device bendable.
CT Liu, senior VP at AUO and chairman of SiPix said AUO will bring the 6-inch e-book reader to market this summer, with expected sales in the three million units mark in 2009 and six million in 2010. An 8- and 9-inch model is also planned after the 6-inch version, though no timelines were mentioned.
Liu also said a product called Flex-it bright plus with a 36 percent reflectance and a 550ms response time is currently being developed. [via Tech-On]