Toshiba and Microsoft are collaborating on specifications for colour displays for e-books.

The two companies recently completed basic specifications for the new products, low-temperature polysilicon TFT (thin-film transistor) LCDs (liquid crystal displays), and plan to put them in prototypes by the end of 2000, the companies said in a statement.

A low-temperature polysilicon display will support digital photography image quality and use the Microsoft Cleartype display technology, according to company officials.

Moreover, they said low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCDs offer higher resolution, richer colour, lower power consumption and more design flexibility than other LCD technologies.

The qualities make them ideal for PDAs (personal data assistants), notebook computers and e-books, the companies said.