Toshiba Showing Off Cutting-Edge Technologies

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CeBIT, the largest IT-related tradeshow in the world, is going on now in Europe and Toshiba is taking the opportunity to highlight some handheld-related technologies.

OLED Screen

OLED Screen -- Click for Larger Version The Japanese electronics giant is showing off a device with a 3.45-inch Organic LED that was developed by Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology.

OLED displays take advantage of the fact that some organic compounds glow when an electrical current is applied to them. This means there is no need for a backlight, as the individual pixels provide their own light. This allows OLED screens to be thinner and lighter than standard LEDs. Colors also tend to be more vivid and OLED screens offer the high-speed refresh essential for displaying video and games.

This spring, Sony is expected to release a Clie with an OLED screen, and other handheld makers will almost certainly follow suit eventually.

Fuel Cell

Toshiba is demonstrating at CeBIT a prototype direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) powering one of its sub-notebook PCs. The DMFC runs on a methanol-oxygen fuel mix, and generates and supplies power directly to the PC. With an energy density up to five times that of a typical lithium-ion battery, the DMFC delivers much longer continuous operation.

The company has a somewhat smaller version that can be used to recharge handhelds and smart phones that it expects to have on the market next year.

Miniature Hard Drive

.85-Inch Hard Drive -- Click for Larger Version Toshiba made headlines recently by announcing that its .85-inch hard drive had been named the world’s smallest by the Guinness Book of World Records. Initially to be available in 2 GB and 4 GB capacities, the drive is expected to add to the functionality and versatility of a wide range of devices, including smart phones and handhelds.

The company will begin sample shipment this summer, with mass production to follow in fall.

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