E Ink Pearl display outed: 50% contrast improvement

Jul 1, 2010
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E Ink Pearl display outed: 50% contrast improvement

E Ink has announced its next generation of ereader display, Pearl, and while the press release doesn't spell it out in so many words, the claim that the contrast is around 50-percent greater than the previous generation leads us to suspect this is the screen technology in the new Amazon Kindle DX.  According to E Ink - formerly known as PVI -Pearl is now the whitest reflective display in the industry and even more like regular printed paper.

If you want a better analogy, E Ink reckon that their previous-gen Vizplex screens were similar to text on newspaper, while Pearl is more like a paperback book.  It also boosts detail and reduces jagged edges on fonts and images.

As for the hardware specs, E Ink are claiming a 10:1 contrast ratio, near 180-degree viewing angle, sub-1s refresh, and between 150 and 200 dpi depending on panel size.  There are five sizes on offer: 5-, 6-, 7-, 8- and 9.7-inches, suggesting we may see the next-gen Kindle using an E Ink Pearl panel sometime later this year.

Press Release:

E Ink Announces Next Generation Display Platform

E Ink expands the marketplace for electronic reading with the introduction of E Ink Pearl, the next generation, easy-to-read electronic paper display with high contrast and sunlight readability.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--E Ink® Corporation, the leading developer and marketer of electronic paper display technology, today announced the Q2 release of its next generation display technology, Pearl. With Pearl, E Ink expands the capabilities of reflective displays, bringing electronic paper performance to the next level. With the whitest reflective displays in the industry, and a contrast ratio now approximately 50 percent greater than today’s products, text on Pearl “pops” from the page, enabling a reading experience most similar to reading text on printed paper.

“E Ink Pearl enables further adoption with a next generation product that is a more lightweight and eco-friendly product than ordinary paper, with less eye strain and longer battery life than an LCD.”
“As the electronic reading market continues to expand, there are more opportunities for expansion not only in the eBook space, but also for eNewspapers, eMagazines and eTextbooks,” according to Felix Ho Chairman of E Ink. “E Ink Pearl enables further adoption with a next generation product that is a more lightweight and eco-friendly product than ordinary paper, with less eye strain and longer battery life than an LCD.”

“The use of electrophoretic displays for eBook readers is growing rapidly. DisplaySearch forecasts that the market value in 2010 will be $837 million, and will grow by 44 percent in 2011, reaching $1.2 billion,” according to Paul Semenza, senior vice president, DisplaySearch. “E Ink's new technology should continue to position them at the forefront of this market segment.”

The E Ink Pearl design builds on the current generation of Vizplex designs, which is used in millions of eReader devices today. Due to a unique and proven two pigment system that is extremely stable, the current E Ink products in the market today have demonstrated long life and high reliability, enabling a whole new class of consumer products.

Enhanced Readability

Images and text become crisp on the screen as the contrast between the background and item of interest is increased. E Ink Pearl raises the bar for displays used in digital reading. This allows for eReaders to go from a contrast ratio typical of newspapers, to a higher contrast ratio typical of paperback books. The crisp text and detailed graphics also continue to remain pleasant to view when E Ink products are enjoyed outside. In addition, with 16 gray level depth, E Ink Pearl offers the sharpest rendering of images and allows product developers to display images with smooth tones and rich detail.

Lowest Power

E Ink technology products are the lowest power displays in the market today for eReaders. E Ink Pearl carries forward that capability with next generation performance. In addition, compared to other technologies, E Ink is completely bi-stable, requiring no power to hold an image or page of text. Forget about bookmarks – an E Ink display can hold your page and save your battery life for weeks or even months, so you can pick up right where you left off.

Widest Ecosystem

E Ink has partnered with top tier semiconductor companies to provide a best-in-class ecosystem of supporting electronics products. Tier one semiconductor providers such as Epson, Freescale, Marvell and Texas Instruments have created integrated circuits that will support the Pearl platform. These ICs include display drivers and power management products (PMIC). With these partnerships, E Ink has continued to advance the state-of-the-art and provide design flexibility to product manufacturers.

About E Ink Holdings Inc.

Founded in 1992 by Taiwan’s leading papermaking and printing group YFY (1907.TW), E Ink Holdings Inc. “E Ink” (8069.TW) is the pioneer TFT and ePaper business in Taiwan. Its corporate philosophy aims to deliver revolutionary products, user experiences, and environmental benefits through advanced technology development. This vision has led to its continuous investments in the field of ePaper display as well as its 2008 acquisition of Hydis Technologies, manufacturer of the world’s best wide viewing angle LCDs and its 2009 acquisition of E Ink Corp., the worldwide leader in ePaper. Listed in Taiwan’s OTC market and the Luxembourg market, E Ink is now the world’s largest supplier of displays to the eBook market.


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