With their work, the research team has created the world's first reflective electronic display, which is capable of displaying full motion video while also displaying print-quality color images while maintaining good visibility under all lighting conditions.
The display is based on the electrowetting display principle, and significant advancements have been made in the technology by implementing a new, 5.8-inch TFT active matrix panel with extremely high transmission, a new display driver capable of addressing the reflective panel with 18-bit color signals, and employing a revolutionary display architecture based on layered switching of the base colors used in coherence detection and recognition.
According to Professor Zhou, this is the first time the world has had the opportunity to see a full-color movie with realistic colors displayed on a reflective screen. This outstanding performance is also owed to the dyes used by the color layers, which are also manufactured by the SCNU team and have set new records.
Professor Alex Henzen, a founding member of the SCNU team and technical leader on e-paper, demonstrated a tablet computer prototype using a new 5.8-inch e-paper display. Professor Alex Henzen stated that this reflective, sunlight readable tft display will revolutionize the e-reader and tablet markets by reducing display energy requirements by several orders of magnitude, allowing for days of continuous color video on a single battery charge, and allowing users to finally enjoy reading tablets in bright sunlight for the first time.
Outdoor billboards using electrowetting color video e-paper have significant improvement potential due to the following characteristics: high contrast, low power consumption, and a wide color gamut.
Since demonstrating color and monochrome e-paper outdoor billboard components to potential customers two years ago, the team has been working to improve the technology and application of e-paper outdoor billboards. The pixel structure has been changed significantly, and this is the most significant change. Based on a new process and the technology described in the preceding section, the team was able to significantly improve the structure's size and shape, resulting in an increase in display pixel aperture to more than 80% and a contrast ratio of more than 10:1. It improves the overall color and brightness of the display. What's more, an expert dye synthesis team has optimized the dye formula, which has resulted in improved contrast and color gamut on par with magazine color print (SWOP) and television display (sRGB).
Specifically, the team will demonstrate four new prototypes: two reflective color display panels with variations in the way light is reflected, and two monochrome reflective panels, one of which approaches the brightness of paper with some angle dependence, while the other achieves 40% reflectance while maintaining a completely diffuse image. All of the prototypes are fully video capable and deliver 6 bits greyscale or 18 bits color, depending on the configuration.
For many years, the e-reader market has been anticipating the arrival of a color video e-paper display. This is a large and demanding market, particularly in the areas of education and outdoor application. According to Professor Zhou, the high demand for online learning during the epidemic this year highlights the need for reflective color video display technology in the future. Our display technology is a perfect match for the extensive set of features that these devices require. We plan to launch our first application product in the summer of 2021, which will be available for download. The team anticipates that the industrialization of this technology will be completed by 2021.
An institute for electronic paper displays at South China Academy of Advanced Optoelectronics of South China Normal University, founded in 2012 by a group of original core members of the Philips e-paper display research and development team, was established in 2012. The Institute's primary focus is on the research, development, and industrialization of environmentally friendly optoelectronic technologies, with color electronic paper displays and video capability serving as major challenges. Since receiving a grant from the National Research and Development Program of China (No. 2016YFB0401500), the institute, in collaboration with 12 other institutes, has increased the pace of innovation and made significant strides in the last calendar year.