Sharp Set to Mass Produce 600 PPI Displays for Smartphones and Tablets

May 6, 2014 - Written By Cory McNutt

The trend towards higher resolution displays is not going unnoticed by Sharp – who not only revamped their Mie Prefecture site to build the new 600 PPI displays but claims they will start mass-production sometime next year.  Right now in their own country, Sharp plays a secondary role to Japan Displays (JDI) in global marketing of high-quality LCD displays for smartphones.  This new display will increase Sharp’s resolution to 10-percent higher than rival JDI and once in production, as early as next Spring, it aims on targeting the leading Chinese smartphone manufacturers.

“Sharp has [finally] developed a way to coat polycrystalline silicon uniformly on glass substrates to fabricate LCD panels with extreme clarity.”  Sharp spent several billion yen to switchover their Mie Prefecture plant to this process to allow them to produce panels with 600 PPI – initially 5.5-inch for smartphones and then later, 7 to 9-inches for tablets.  This will cover Sharp on the high-end market for displays, but they still need to handle the ever-growing low-midrange and emerging nations market as well.

For those lower-end phones, Sharp has been pushing its Indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) panels – they can only handle around 300 pixels per inch (PPI), but use very little energy…always a big plus in the mobile market. Sharp hopes over the next year to more than double its IGZO displays to China – equivalent to 5 million 5-inch panels a MONTH!  Sharp will be in good shape by handling both the midrange market with its IGZO panels and the high-end market with its high-res displays – all bases will be covered.

The outlook for the high-resolution LCD panels is very good with DisplaySearch estimating that the global market for sub-nine-inch panels for smartphones and tablets will grow 70-percent from 2013 to 2018 to reach $56.4 billion – the main boost coming from displays of high-definition (HD) and better.  In 2013, Sharp earned an operating profit of 40 billion yen ($387 million) on sales on 1 trillion yen – 60-percent of those sales coming from smaller displays from three factories in Japan.

Please let us know on our Google+ Page if you think that the current Full HD or QHD displays offer more than enough sharpness for our displays or is there a real (not imagined) need for even higher resolutions when you consider that the human eye cannot distinguish more than 300 PPI on their best day…hence the infamous “retina display” of 326 PPI…as always, we would love to hear from you.