Even the most die-hard handheld fans would agree that it can be difficult performing some tasks on the small screens in handhelds. There has been some progress in this in recent years, with Sony’s 320-by-480 pixel displays a prime example. However, Japan’s Fujitsu is working to develop small handheld screens that will offer truly phenomenal resolutions.
According to Nikkei Net Interactive, Fujitsu has a prototype LCD that is just 4 inches when measured diagonally but has a resolution of 800-by-600 pixels. This is more than three times as many pixels as the screens on Sony’s NX series while being roughly the same size.
Each pixel on today’s LCD screens is made up of three sub-pixels: one red, one blue and one green. Different combinations of these make all the different shades of color. In Fujitsu’s screens, the backlight rapidly cycles between the three primary colors, allowing all the sub-pixels to display any color. This means the sub-pixels actually act as regular pixels, greatly increasing the resolution.
However, there is a fly in the ointment. Fujitsu has only reached the prototype stage and says the defect rate with its current production processes is unacceptably high. The company hopes to have these new displays on the market in the next few years.
It’d Better Hurry up
Fujitsu might need to fast-track the development of its screen technology because at least one of its competitors has a big head start. Sharp Microelectronics is already producing devices that use CG-Silicon displays, which is a type of LCD developed by Sharp and the Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co. These screens can pack twice as many pixels into the same space as a TFT LCD while using less power.
The best known product with a CG-Silicon display is Sharp’s line of Clamshell Zaurus handhelds, which have a 640-by-480 pixels screen that is only 3.7 inches. However, Sharp is working to get these in other handhelds and cellular phones, laptops, portable TVs, and game machines.
And though no details are available, Sony is one of the top LCD producers in the world today. It is surely not allowing its competitors to get a big competitive advantage.