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E Ink’s Electronic Paper Reaches Near-Practical Use

E Ink Corporation, the leading developer of paper-like display technology, and Royal Philips Electronics, the world’s leader in high-performance mobile displays, announced the unveiling of their latest joint prototypes at this year’s Society for Information Display Exposition and Symposium in Baltimore, MD. Prototypes of the electronic ink displays were available for viewing at E Ink’s booth.

These engineering samples, developed for a lead customer, are representative of the first high-resolution display products using commercial-grade components. The crisp, easy-to-read display features a resolution at 160 pixels per inch (ppi), significantly higher than anything demonstrated previously. This notable advancement was enabled by continued improvement in E Ink’s electronic ink display material and Philips’ custom designed thin-film-transistor (TFT) backplane and driver electronics.

“This is the first time E Ink and Philips have integrated such custom components into a fully functional display and it is a major milestone in the two companies’ continued progress towards commercialization.” said Jim Veninger, Philips General Manager, New Displays Business Development. While the customer will ultimately design the form and function of the end product, these prototypes are being shown in a dual-display electronic reader case designed by Philips.

“These samples demonstrate the significant accomplishments of both E Ink and Philips to develop a game-changing technology into a commercially viable product with strong market interest,” said Dan Button, E Ink’s vice president and general manager. “E Ink and Philips will be the first to commercialize true paper-like displays using electronic ink technology with mass production of electronic ink modules for our lead customer in early 2004 and broad commercial availability later that year.”

E Ink’s electronic ink displays are renowned for their incredible paper-like readability; thin, lightweight form-factor; and low-power consumption. E Ink and Philips have been working together through a strategic partnership since February 2001 and expect to have broad commercial distribution of products in 2004.

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