Image courtesy of Toshiba
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Toshiba Matsushita Display Technology Co., Ltd. has announced the mass production of its 5-inch monochrome, highly reflective, thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD).  This high resolution, 16-level grayscale display is designed for monochrome applications found in displays on office automation equipment and electronic dictionaries.

The demand for electronic dictionaries is on a rapid rise with the consumer desire for quick information access.  In Japan, the sales of electronic dictionaries reached 2.5 million units in 2005 and there has been a high demand for units that are capable of displaying images.

The new TFT LCD has completely eliminated the need for a backlight due to the highly reflective surface and optical performance.  This absence of the backlight allows the device to consume less energy, therefore increasing battery life.  The new line of TFT LCDs offers faster display image rewrite so the text or video clips are more clearly legible while scrolling.

The device will include a 5.01-inch display, VGA 640x480 resolution, monochrome reflective display, 20 ms response time, and power consumption of 4 mW in binary representation and 20 mW in 16-gray scale representation.  No information has been released yet of its launch date, but mass manufacturing is well underway.

The question left is when TMDT will manufacture the product in paper thin sizes.  With research on flexible electronics underway, the next step is to transfer this technology to electronic dictionaries and eBook readers.

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