Many displays on mobile devices are LCD, a technology that’s a bit long in the tooth. Sharp, in conjunction with Qualcomm, is working to create a new type of display, one they hope will forge a new path for small displays. Called MEMS-IGZO, the new display tech leans on the hard work of both companies equally.
MEMS is Qualcomm’s dog in this fight, which we first saw on their TOQ smartwatch, and later on a 5.1-inch smartphone display. MEMS asks very little of the battery, with Qualcomm saying it uses roughly 1/6 of the power of your current display. The smartphone display boasted a pixel count of 500-plus, denser than any we’ve seen yet.
IGZO uses new materials (indium, gallium, zinc, oxygen) to push pixels around the screen, and does so on a thinner plane. Using a thin-film transistor (TFT) on the rear of the device, IGZO can decrease the size needed to house a screen, and can move images at about 150% the speed of LCD.
The TFT layer also allows for better backlighting, as it doesn’t require a color filter. That should help MEMS-IGZO produce brighter colors without being washed out.
In a nutshell, MEMS-IGZO could make your display thinner, faster, and task your battery a lot less. That’s something we can all get behind.
These displays won’t hit your phone or wearable anytime soon, though. Sharp and Qualcomm are aiming for 2017, when they feel this technology can be ready for mass production.