On Thursday, Japan Display (JDI) announced that it started the mass production of new 5-inch LTPS LCD display panels boasting a WQHD (2560 x 1440) resolution. The panels feature a pixel density of over 500 pixels per inch and rely on the second generation of In-Cell touchscreen technology called Pixel Eyes which allows them to be lighter, have thinner borders, and boast deeper black levels than their predecessors. The same technology also reportedly allows consumers to use the display with wet fingers.
According to the official press release, JDI's new LTPS LCD display benefits from reduced power consumption levels while displaying a high-resolution WQHD format. Furthermore, the company aimed to solve the issue of display flickering at low refresh frequencies and reportedly managed to reach its target by adopting several new and improved materials. As a result, JDI claims that the new panel can switch from 60Hz to 30Hz without affecting the image quality. Additionally, the driver IC (integrated circuit) used in this panel takes advantage of numerous upscaling functions and can automatically convert an image in FHD resolution to WQHD quality. The manufacturer clarifies that "WQHD images can be displayed using an FHD chipset," meaning that smartphone makers can theoretically take advantage of WQHD resolutions using this panel without having to utilize a powerful System-on-Chip designed for WQHD rendering. Other details worth mentioning include a contrast ration of 1500:1, surface luminance of 500cd/m2, and the panel's ability to cover 96% of the NTSC color gamut. JDI hasn't announced any partners yet so it remains to be seen when the new LCD panel will reach the consumer market and which smartphone makers will adopt it. However, given that the display has now entered mass production, it's reasonable to presume that it will hit the shelves in some shape or form over the course of this year.
Japan Display is a joint venture by Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi who have united their forces four years ago to jointly develop and manufacture display technologies. JDI is largely known for pushing LCD display technology forward, so it will be interesting to see how the company will perform in 2016, especially now that an increasing number of smartphone makers are set to switch from LCD to OLED panels. Last year, the company also unveiled the Full Active LCD panel with ultra-thin bezels, as well as a foldable display which might be commercialized later this year.