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Two sides to every LCD

Sharp to mass produce double-sided screens

Sharp will start mass production of a newly developed double-sided LCD (liquid crystal display) in May, the company said today.

The Twin LCD display sandwiches a backlight and a system LSI (large-scale integrated circuit) chip — both developed by Sharp — between two LCD screens, allowing both sides of the display to work at the same time.

Development of Sharp's Twin LCD dual-sided display was completed in December, said spokesman Hitoshi Wakita.

Sharp could not disclose which companies plan to use the Twin LCD display, however Wakita confirmed it is likely to be used in mobile devices, expecting high demand from the makers of products such as mobile phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants).

In Japan, one of the most popular mobile phones incorporates a clamshell design with two LCD panels, one inside and a smaller display on the outside, which lets users see a caller's phone number while the phone is folded. However, the design requires two single-sided LCDs, each with its own backlight and system LSI chip.

The double-sided LCD display developed by Sharp will allow devices such as this type of mobile phone to become 30 to 40 percent slimmer, 20 percent lighter and 10 percent cheaper, Wakita claimed.

The company will manufacture the products to its clients' own LCD specifications, he said, adding that the displays can be made in large or small sizes and can be either colour or monochrome.


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