The Japanese electronics company, “Sharp Corporation” has begun mass-production of in-cell type touch displays for smartphones as of June 2015.
Most current displays for smartphones consist of an LCD on which a touch sensor is attached. The in-cell type touch display, however, has the touch sensor function built into the LCD, thus enabling thinner and lighter displays. This also gives more design freedom to smartphone manufacturers.
The in-cell type touch displays are mass-produced at Sharp’s Mie Plant No. 3 and utilize LTPS*1 (CG silicon*2) technology. The in-cell type touch display is realized by embedding the touch sensor circuitry and LCD drive circuitry into the LCD module.
Sharp is also considering production at Kameyama Plant No. 2. Doing so would allow Sharp to best meet user needs in regards to screen size, resolution, and bezel thinness, as well as build a stable supply system.
Sharp is also in the process of developing medium-size in-cell type touch displays for use in tablets and notebook PCs. Such medium-size displays allow Sharp to make the most of the IGZO technology employed at Kameyama Plant No. 2.
Smartphones are suitably thin and light already but Sharp promises with the help of In-cell type touch displays, they will improve smartphones by making them thinner and lighter.
In-cell type touch displays may not quite so flamboyant, but saving precious real estate in devices could help pack in longer lasting battery or just make our phones off the future even sleeker than they are now. Don’t discount the potential impact of seemingly incremental steps.
Sharp, which developed the display for Apple’s iPhone 6 and iPhone 6+ and manufactures components for a range of other tech companies, has been responsible for a sizable amount of innovation in the display panel space. Its past developments include low-power IZGO displays that helped greatly improve device battery life, and ‘free form’ displays —announced last year — which have the potential to change the form factor of devices.
- *1 LTPS: Low-temperature Poly Silicon
- *2 CG silicon: Continuous Grain Silicon