Japan Display Inc., known as JDI, was formed in April 2012 through the combined forces of the Sony, Hitachi and Toshiba. JDI operate in an intensely competitive sector – smartphone display panels – and are facing competition from Chinese display panel manufacturers in addition to companies such as LG and Samsung. This week, JDI have announced the world’s first mass produced QHD (that is, 1,440 by 2,560 pixel, or 1440p) LCD panel incorporating in-cell touch. QHD panels are the current highest resolution display technology used in smartphones such as the Motorola Nexus 6, Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung Galaxy S6. And whilst we have seen in-cell touchscreen technology used before, this is the first time that a display of this resolution has seen the technology applied in a production line. In-cell technology combines the digitizer with touch input and the LCD panel into a single layer. The higher the resolution, the technically more challenging it is to incorporate in-cell touch technology and here, JDI are using their in-house technique called “Pixel Eyes.”
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The first display panel released with this technology is a 5.0-inch unit. In the details, this is a transmissive IPS unit with a viewing angle greater than 160 degrees and a typical contrast ratio of 1500:1. With the high resolution of 1,440 by 2,560 pixels, the panel has a resolution density of over 500ppi. JDI’s Pixel Eyes technology helps reduce the thickness of the design, which is an important consideration for manufacturers as it allows for more space inside the smartphone for components, or to help keep things thin. This technological refinement should help JDI maintain a competitive edge over its competitors, who are not able to deliver the same quality and thinness of display. We have reported on JDI’s battle with the rest of the mobile display panel market, where the business has at times struggled to differentiate itself and at others, has aggressively chased lower prices to compete.
It’s not clear who JDI have designed the screen for. It might be destined for the a new Sony Xperia Z-class flagship device or perhaps it’ll appear in the next LG device. There is also an outside chance that the new JDI screen will appear in an up and coming Apple iPhone too.