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A Flexible Color Display

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HP flexible color display prototype

HP's prototype display uses stacks of red, blue, and green dyes and electrically controlled mirrors to produce color images without the need for a backlight.

Credit: HP Labs

Hewlett-Packard Labs researchers are testing a flexible, full-color display that saves power by reflecting ambient light instead of using a backlight. The prototype's pixels are controlled by fast-switching silicon transistors printed on plastic. "Our goal is to make a display with the color saturation of newsprint that can be manufactured for about $10 per square foot," says HP Labs' Carl Taussig.

Flexible display researchers are working to develop reflective displays built on plastic that use less battery life. Plastic transistor arrays also provide better durability, says Arizona State University's Nick Colaneri.

HP aims to provide a brighter color reflective display technology by stacking red, green, and blue pixels in the same area. "If you get loss at each layer, you get a huge overall loss, so we're engineering the light path to prevent that," Taussig says. "The drawback is that it's complicated."

Other companies also are developing flexible displays, and Colaneri says cost will likely be the decisive factor. "There are several radically different approaches to manufacturing, and it's too early to say what the costs will be," he says.

From Technology Review
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