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Sharp readies colour LCD for mobile phones

Full motion video in your pocket

Sharp has developed a new LCD (liquid crystal display) for use in mobile phone handsets that boasts more colours and faster refresh rates than most existing displays.

The STN (super twisted nematic) screen, which will enter mass production in June, is capable of displaying 65,536 colours, said a spokeswoman for Sharp. The breakthrough was made possible with the development of a new LCD driver chip.

Existing colour displays for mobile phones are only capable of displaying 256 colours. Additionally, the new LCD has a refresh rate of 15 frames per second, five times that of current displays, which have a maximum refresh rate of three frames per second.

Mobile telephones with colour screens first hit the Japanese market in the second half of 2000 although all, bar one, have 256 colour displays.

The sole model available with a 65,536 color display is also made by Sharp, but is based on the much more expensive TFT (thin film transistor) technology. An STN model of the display will be able to cut the cost of handsets and extend battery life because of lower power consumption.


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