You could be forgiven for thinking E Ink have cornered the e-paper market; after all, their Vizplex displays are currently used by Amazon’s Kindle, Sony’s Reader and eBook ranges from multiple other dedicated manufacturers. Seiko Epson might give you cause to think again, however, having just unveiled a 13.4-inch, A4-sized screen at SID 2008. That’s almost twice as large as the company’s previous display, which measured in at a mere 7.1-inches.
Epson are describing the new screen as being the final stage of actually replacing traditional paper with an electronic version. It has a 3104 × 4128 resolution and definition as high as 385ppi. Contrast comes in at 10:1 while reflectance is at 40-percent.
Actually, though, this isn’t a case of escaping E Ink’s clutches. The A4 e-paper is manufactured using a Seiko Epson low-temperature polycrystal Si-TFT but combined with E Ink’s electrophoretic electronic ink, layered onto a glass substrate. Frankly, though, it doesn’t really matter who developed it; what’s important is the fact that Epson are going to explore different ways to actually commercialise the panel, rather than just have it as a proof-of-concept, so we could be seeing larger-scale eBooks on the market at some point in the unspecified future.