The tech world waits with baited breath for Barnes and Noble's dual-display ebook reader, expected to see an announcement today, but e-paper manufacturers aren't resting on their laurels. AUO have two new milestones today: their first 6-inch flexible e-paper display, and the world's first 20-inch Electrophoretic Display (EPD) panel, the largest ready for mass production.
The flexible panel is, AUO claim, unbreakable, using Sipix Microcup technology to allow for similar bending possibilities as real paper. Even when bent it can display 16 levels of greyscale, has a 9:1 contrast ratio and 33-percent reflectance; as with other e-paper products it only requires power when the on-screen image is changed, not to maintain it.
As for the 20-inch panel, AUO expect that to be used for public information displays, though the mockup of it as a huge, broadsheet-style newspaper certainly are tempting. It, too, supports 16 levels of greyscale, and requires less than 2W of power. The EPD is ready to go into mass production now, while the flexible display will begin sampling in 2010 and mass production shortly after. AUO say the 6-inch panel size is only a demonstration choice, and that their roll-to-roll manufacturing process means they can create custom display sizes for individual clients.