It's been a while since we've last heard about E Ink but it seems the company is still working on more advanced E Ink screen designs. One of its latest technologies is the Advanced Color ePaper (ACeP), a new E Ink screen that achieves full color gamut without the use of color filters.
The firm has 20" ACeP screens with a resolution of 1600 x 2500 pixels at 150ppi, which is much lower than the 250ppi offered by its black-and-white screens, and another disadvantage of ACeP is its very slow refresh speed of 2 seconds. So the new ACeP offers better color gamut than the previously released Triton, which is limited to 4096 colors, but has significant drawbacks. E Ink will market its ACeP technology for digital signage applications.
E Ink® Holdings, "E Ink" (8069.TWO), the leading innovator of electronic ink technology in the world, today announced a breakthrough technology with its Advanced Color ePaper (ACeP), a high quality, full color reflective display. For the first time ever, an electrophoretic display (EPD) can produce full color at every pixel without the use of a color filter array (CFA). ACeP sets a new standard for bright, reflective color achievable with EPDs. The initial target application for ACeP will be for digital signage.
ACeP achieves a full color gamut, including all eight primary colors, using only colored pigments. The display utilizes a single layer of electrophoretic fluid, which is controlled using voltages compatible with commercial TFT backplanes. The fluid can be incorporated into either microcapsule or Microcup® structures. The richness of the colors is achieved by having all the colored pigments in every picture element (pixel) rather than the side-by-side pixel colors achieved with a CFA. This eliminates the light attenuation, which can be quite significant. Like regular E Ink ePaper, ACeP maintains the ultra-low-power and paper-like readability under all lighting conditions.
“At its heart, E Ink is a materials and technology company,” said Frank Ko, Chairman of E Ink Holdings. “It’s this core that provides the energy and the foundation for the stream of products being developed at E Ink. We expect ACeP to become the basis upon which another generation of EPD display products can be developed.”
In developing ACeP, E Ink researchers solved the very complex problem of how to get reflective color at every pixel in a commercially viable structure. Other approaches have utilized stacked backplane structures that are complex, difficult to manufacture and costly. The E Ink approach utilizes only a single backplane. Many materials and waveform inventions were required to independently control the position of the multiple color pigments.
“The technical team was convinced this was achievable,” said Michael McCreary, CTO for E Ink Corporation. “E Ink’s global R&D team has a deep understanding and experience with electrophoretic displays. During the years of hard work applying this experience to full color, the breakthroughs required to achieve this milestone were numerous and frequent. We are very proud of the team’s accomplishment and dedication to this task.”
Multiple 20” displays with a resolution of 1600 X 2500 at 150 ppi have been constructed. ACeP will be on display during SID’s Display Week at E Ink’s booth (#521) at the Moscone Conference Center from Tuesday, May 24 through Thursday, May 26.
Perhaps more interesting is the Mobius, a 32-inch flexible and very lightweight display. The 32-inch version of Mobius weighs just 150g and has a 2650 x 1440 pixels resolution at 94ppi. It has a very low power consumption and can be used for curved display systems. E Ink's Mobius is intended for digital signage applications in transportation and other public information systems.
The 32" Mobius display weighs 150 grams, or less than 6 ounces, with a resolution of 2650 X 1440 at 94 ppi. It has all the paper-like readability and low power consumption of E Ink displays, and will not add a significant power load on the system. It can even be powered with solar cells and rechargeable batteries.