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Science Technology

New Substrate Tech Creates System LCDs 129

smartalix writes "Sharp Microelectronics has recently developed a new LCD substrate technology called Continuous-Grain Silicon (CG-Silicon), that enables device integration on a scale previously impossible. The technology enables the creation of System LCDs that integrate all driver and operation circuitry -- including digital logic, LCD driver, power supply, I/O interfaces, and signal-processing circuitry -- onto the glass itself. Eventually even the device's CPU will be included on the substrate. A key SLCD feature is the ability to dynamically control the resolution and color depth, providing output in multiple-resolution modes while lowering overall power consumption. A 3.7-in. SLCD created with CG-Silicon had a power consumption of 14 mW for color VGA, 8 mW for color QVGA, and 2 mW for monochrome QVGA. The first commercially available product that incorporates the System LCD architecture is Sharp's Zaurus SL-C700 PDA, recently released in Japan."
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New Substrate Tech Creates System LCDs

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  • QVGA? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pestie ( 141370 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2003 @04:05PM (#5089635) Homepage
    What the bejesus is QVGA?
  • Good news... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cutriss ( 262920 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2003 @04:06PM (#5089649) Homepage
    The first commercially available product that incorporates the System LCD architecture is Sharp's Zaurus SL-C700 PDA, recently released in Japan.

    If that's true, then it's about time. I can't count how many next-gen display technology announcements I've seen on /. about stuff that's supposed to make better displays cheaper, and then the product never comes to market.

    The fact that there's something already out there using it means that we're much more likely to see the technology become more widespread and adapted to other devices.
  • by Ninja Master Gara ( 602359 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2003 @04:12PM (#5089699) Homepage
    It sounds truly awesome. Soon we'll be grafting pda's to our skin, as promised for decades. Dick Tracy watch?! Hah! I can play Tetris!

    Btw, a direct link to the news article is here [sharpsma.com]

  • superman! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by WPIDalamar ( 122110 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2003 @04:15PM (#5089721) Homepage

    circutry on glass?

    Sweet, so when can we have computers that come on crystals like in the superman movie.

    Oooh, can the glass go transparent? I'd love a window that doubles as a computer. I bet it can't :(
  • Re:Good news... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by First_In_Hell ( 549585 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2003 @04:20PM (#5089753) Homepage
    Keep waiting. How long does it take for any new technology to reach an affordable implementation and price? Look at flat-panel monitors. Just now are they becoming affordable. We had to enture $1500 15' inch LCDs that now sell for $250 which had crappier quality than a low end laptop screen.

    Also, what is right for the Japanese market is not always right over here. The way they use cell phones over there borders on some science-fiction movies, while companies are still trying to get online cell phone games to catch on over here.

  • Carppy transistors (Score:3, Interesting)

    by brejc8 ( 223089 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2003 @04:40PM (#5089876) Homepage Journal
    A few months ago I was talking to someone who was working on using the transistors on LCDs to do actual computation. The problem was thet there is a hude varioation in speed between individual transistors. Making the worst case delay and clock distribution too painful to make the system usefull for anything.

    They were at the Async confrence and they were very intrested in doing everything asynchronously. It makes sence as implementing the logic in asynchronous circuits solves both problems.
  • by dara ( 119068 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2003 @04:44PM (#5089901)
    The part that really interests me is the ability of the same screen to use less power depending on what you want to do. I own a monochrome PDA for battery reasons, but I'd love to be able to switch to color mode when displaying photos or color maps. I can imagine resolution changes too - QVGA (the Q IS confusing, here it means quarter, but QUXGA means Quad UXGA) might be fine for looking up an address, but for a 3" by 4" photo display, I'd want Quad XGA (320 dpi is not possible now, but someday). Then you could vary between (1/4, 1, 4) x VGA to save power.

    Of course, a flexible OLED would be great if it uses no more power and is flexible to boot.

    Dara Parsavand
  • Cost? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by swasson ( 639367 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2003 @04:49PM (#5089934) Homepage
    What kind of cost increase are we looking at here? Most of the higher end (higher res) PDAs are fairly expensive to begin with. Now throw in this new "innovation" and you're looking at increasing the price of something that's already pricey.

  • This is bad news... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by webmaven ( 27463 ) <webmaven@cox.nEULERet minus math_god> on Wednesday January 15, 2003 @05:10PM (#5090075) Homepage
    Crap. This means that we'll be dealing with displays that have completely integrated copy-protection mechanisms.

    Even if current efforts such as Intel's HDCP [techweb.com] are flawed [securityfocus.com], future versions of these technologies may not be amenable to cryptographic attacks, and hardware based attacks will be extremely difficult if the circuitry is embedded in the screen itself.

    This falls perfectly in line with the Broadcast Protection Discussion Group's [eff.org] desire to mandate implementation of a broadcast flag that all devices must honor.
  • by sryx ( 34524 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2003 @05:31PM (#5090187) Homepage
    With these screens ability to save power if less information changes maybe this will bring about a retro-revolution of cleaner simpler displays. I for one (being a computer user since MS DOS 5.0, yeah I know around here that's young) really enjoyed the simple low color depth interfaces of old graphical applications (Remember 3D Studio R3? No not 3D Studio MAX, but the original DOS version).
    These applications pushed the available architecture as far and as fast as they could. Then suddenly CPU cycles became massively abundant (FPS freaks will disagree but come on, how many GHz or even MHz do you need to write a essay) and interfaces became cluttered, background images for dialogue boxes and shiny glowing graphical buttons for each individual task started popping up all over that place.
    I know, I know, there where bad applications back then, but the landscape seemed more abundant with good applications. Well I should quit typing before I sound like a complete raving old fart ("back when I was a kid..." ect ect)... to late.
  • by zentigger ( 203922 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2003 @05:51PM (#5090316) Homepage
    actually this is the perfect solution for display to glasses/goggles. A transparent medium capable of displaying images and performing processing? You could have an entire computer built right on to a contact lens!

"Let every man teach his son, teach his daughter, that labor is honorable." -- Robert G. Ingersoll