sharpmems

Say Hello to Sharp’s New Display Technology: MEMS

October 1, 2013 - Written By Tom Dawson

 

In the last five years or so, mobile displays have changed a whole lot from the humble TFT panels that we used to see in cell phones. These days we’ve got IPS, AMOLED, OLED, IGZO and soon we’re going to be saying “MEMS” as well. Or at least, that’s what Sharp is hoping with their new display technology. The Japanese giant is no stranger to new technology, just last year we saw IGZO panels start to hit the scene. IGZO promised to drastically reduce battery drain and so does MEMS.

So, just what the hell is it? Well, MEMS stands for microelectromechanical systems because of the tiny, mechanical parts in the display. How the display works – in a nutshell – is by adjusting a tiny shutter for each pixel that lets light through. Behind these tiny shutters is a backlight that flashes red, green or blue in fast succession. Our human eye sees these three flashes as the desire hue. As for size and resolution, the panel that Sharp was demonstrating had a 1280 x 800 resolution at 7-inches – perfect for today’s tablets.

Sharp has been showing off this new technology at the Japanese CEATEC event, and as PC World is reporting, those that took a look at the display reported good-looking colors and a decent amount of light. However, when they looked away from the display they saw flashes of color, which Sharp say they’re working on.

Qualcomm have helped with the development with this as well, having invested $120 Million in the company, development expertise on MEMS from Qualcomm has been sent Sharp’s way. As for when Sharp is looking to deliver this to the consumer market, that’s unclear. The company has only just managed to get their IGZO panel technology into select devices from partners like ASUS so, we’d expect that MEMS had a fair way to go before it’s ready for the primetime. Especially when you consider that 1280 x 800 at 7-inches just isn’t cutting it for today’s high-end tablets.