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Sharp brings Aquos LCD TV technology to mobile devices

Sharp has announced today the development of a new TFT liquid crystal display technology for mobile devices.

The new LCD modules combine technology characteristics of the Sharp AQUOS Liquid Crystal TV, referred to as the ASV LCD with Sharp’s proprietary small format display technology, referred to as the Advanced-TFT. With this breakthrough, Sharp has attained a new mobile display that is ideally suited for mobile devices, such as camera phones, PDAs, and personal media players, which display streaming video content or color images. The displays achieve excellent visibility in any lighting situation, while offering a wide viewing angle, high contrast ratio, and superior color reproduction.

The displays are slated for sampling in December of 2003, with volume production to begin next spring.

“The explosive growth in the use of multi-functional mobile devices has rapidly accelerated the demand for high-resolution color displays that allow users to view a wider range of content,” said Joel Pollack, vice president of the Display Business Unit at Sharp Microelectronics of the Americas. “Sharp’s new mobile ASV LCD technology offers design engineers high quality display technology similar to that which is used in our AQUOS LCD TVs. The result is a clear, bright display visible from virtually any angle and under any ambient lighting condition.”

The continued growth in the mobile market is expected to stimulate new demand for the capability to view video and graphic content, including photographic images, scenes from television shows, movies, sports events and news.

In anticipation of this new demand, Sharp developed mobile ASV LCD technology which combines its proprietary Advanced Super View(1) LCD and Advanced-TFT(2) LCD technologies. Advanced Super View technology is used in its AQUOS LCD TVs while its Advanced-TFT technology is in the company’s transflective LCD displays that are designed into devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. The result of this convergence is a new, proprietary LCD technology that allows modules to exhibit video and photographic-quality still images in a fashion superior to previous generations of mobile devices.

The new displays are produced using Sharp’s proprietary Amorphous silicon and CG-Silicon(3) manufacturing processes. They range in size from 1.5-inch to 6.5-inches, and feature color purity within a viewing cone of 160 degrees vertically and horizontally. With a symmetric viewing cone, the displays can be used in portrait mode for graphics and landscape mode for video, enabling optimal viewing even when held in the hand or laid flat on the table. This technology is compatible with a range of products that will be offered in VGA and QVGA resolutions. The displays feature a 25ms response rate, and 300:1 contrast ratio.

Since becoming the first company in the world to successfully mass produce LCDs for use in electronic calculators in 1973, Sharp has continued to lead the market by developing new technologies and applications for LCDs, including word processors, notebook computers, LCD monitors, and LCD TVs. With the mobile ASV LCD technology, Sharp is positioning itself to make a further contribution to the evolution of this new generation of mobile devices such as mobile phones and PDAs by delivering a dramatic improvement in LCD display image quality.

Applications for the new mobile ASV LCD technology include mobile phones, PDAs, digital still cameras, LCD digital video cameras, personal media players, and car navigation and rear-seat entertainment systems.

About Fabrizio Pilato

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