E Ink Corporation makes electronic paper display devices
Photos and the press releases later in this article supplied by E Ink Corporation.
E Ink is the company probably furthest along in the alternative
display/print technology area, in terms of getting real products into
the marketplace, at least. Electronic Ink is a clever use of existing
technology rather than using exotic, and thus expensive, materials.
This is probably why E Ink has been successful getting products
shipping where other companies have floundered around for much longer
at the development stage.
The basic concept of E Ink is quite simple. One version uses particles
suspended in a clear fluid. Two particles are used, positively charged
white particles and negatively charged black particles. The ink is
printed onto a plastic film and another sheet containing the electrodes
is sandwiched with it. When a charge is applied to the electrodes
either the black or white particles are attracted to the electrode on
the back of the ‘paper’ and the other color particles go to the
visible, top of the fluid. Simple and elegant. If multiple electrodes
are placed within the area of one fluid dot then a mix of visible black
and white particles can be shown, increasing the resolution and
allowing grayscale dithering to occur, just as ink an inkjet printer.
The result is a thin, flexible plastic film that does not look like
paper but that allows the image to be readily updated. Moving displays
are also possible, as is color by adding a color filter layer to the
Products shipping using the E Ink technology are the Sony LIBRie in
Japan, an electronic book reader, point of sale signage for an Xbox
game, transporation signage in Europe by VIT and other retail signage
Below are some press releases which add more information and show other uses and upcoming developments.
NOW IN COLOR – E INK SHOWS ADVANCED ELECTRONIC PAPER
E Ink Corporation, the leading source of electronic paper display (EPD)
technology, and Toppan Printing Co. Ltd., the world’s leading supplier
of Color Filters for the flat panel display industry, today announced
that their engineers have built a full-color electronic paper display
that is suitable for mass production. The display will be shown at the
E Ink booth of the annual FPD International trade show in Japan
attended by over 60,000 visitors from around the world.
This electronic paper color prototype achieves 12-bit color in a
400×300 pixel format with resolution of 83 pixels per inch, using a
custom color filter from strategic partner Toppan. The color filter
design has a high-brightness layout (RGBW) that preserves the
paper-like whiteness of the background page while enabling deep blacks
for text and a range of colors and tones for images. A smart algorithm
uses color sub-pixels to smooth black and white text, for enhanced
legibility equivalent to a printer. The display diagonal is 6 inches,
similar to a paperback book in size.
“No one has ever shown a low-power color display that looks this good
and can be mass manufactured in a practical way,” said Russ Wilcox, CEO
at E Ink, “The gates are finally open for product designers to use
color electronic paper in mobile devices.”
E Ink’s electronic ink technology creates an image that looks like a
printed page from all angles and maintains the same contrast ratio
under all lighting conditions, including direct sunlight. Aimed at
handheld devices, the display uses up to 100 times less energy than a
standard liquid crystal display (LCD), so product designers can shed
weight and greatly extend battery life.
“Supporting a graphical user interface is critical for mobile devices,”
said Ryosuke Kuwada, VP of Sales and Marketing at E Ink, “Unlike
printed paper, our display can be updated in a fraction of a second,
enabling menus, scroll bars and animation. The screen can easily switch
between black and white text or color windows and icons.”
One application for the color electronic paper display module is for
seeing digital information outdoors. Digital cameras, ATMs, kiosks, GPS
devices and electronic signs can be seen clearly even under sunlight
using the new display module. The display will also be useful for any
portable electronic device that has a battery. The new display module
will let cellphones, PDAs, and wireless tablets run substantially
longer on a single charge, enabling designers to make the devices more
compact by cutting battery size and weight.
Mass production of color electronic paper displays is expected to start
at the end of 2006, with future plans for flexible versions.
WORLD’S FIRST TABLET-SIZE FLEXIBLE ELECTRONIC PAPER DISPLAY
E Ink Corporation in USA, the leading supplier of electronic paper
display technology, today announced that LG.Philips LCD (NYSE: LPL,
KRX: 034220), one of the world’s leading innovators of thin-film
transistor liquid crystal (TFT-LCD) technology, and E Ink have built a
10.1″ flexible electronic paper display. The display will be shown at
the FPD International trade show in Japan, attended by over 60,000
visitors each year.
Less than 300 microns thick, the paper-white display is as thin and
flexible as construction paper. With a 10.1″ diagonal, the prototype
achieves SVGA (600×800) resolution at 100 pixels per inch and has a
10:1 contrast ratio with 4 levels of grayscale.
E Ink® Imaging Film is a novel display material that looks like printed
ink on paper and has been designed for use in paper-like electronic
displays. Like paper, the material can be flexed and rolled. As an
additional benefit, the E Ink Imaging Film uses 100 times less energy
than a liquid crystal display because it can hold an image without
power and without a backlight.
LG.Philips LCD and E Ink selected a steel foil material that could be
supplied by Sumitomo Corporation in high volume and which was developed
by Nippon Steel Corporation (5401.JP), the leading steel company in
Japan. The flexible foil is a super-thin, extremely flat,
high-performance steel tha
t can easily withstand the high temperatures
of a TFT production process.
LG.Philips LCD combined both materials to manufacture the display panel
at an existing pilot TFT line in Korea. LG.Philips and E Ink jointly
designed the display electronics and produced the final prototype to
achieve the world’s largest high-resolution fle
xible electronic paper
“We all need flexible displays,” said Russ Wilcox, CEO of E Ink, “They
are 80% thinner and lighter than glass displays, and they do not break
like glass displays. You can roll them up and put them in your pocket.
You can curve them around the outside of a cellphone. Or you can throw
them in your briefcase like a newspaper. As Galileo famously told us,
the world is not flat.”
About LG.Philips LCD
LG.Philips LCD [NYSE: LPL, KRX: 034220] is a leading manufacturer and
supplier of thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD)
panels. The Company manufactures TFT-LCD panels in a wide range of
sizes and specifications primarily for use in notebook computers,
desktop monitors and televisions. Headquartered in Seoul, South Korea,
LG.Philips LCD currently operates six fabrication facilities in Korea
and has approximately 15,000 employees in locations around the world.
For more information about the Company, please visit www.lgphilips-lcd.com. LG.Philips LCD makes “Technology you can see!”
About Nippon Steel Corp.
One of the world’s largest steelmakers with nine steelworks and one
processing works, Nippon Steel can satisfy the diverse needs of the
construction, automotive and many other industries through constant
technical innovations, product diversification and sophistication. The
company’s effort to popularize Steel House attracts attention because
it has excellent seismic resistance and helps conserve forestal
The company’s pursuit of new product development has led to the birth
of high-strength steel sheets which enable car weight reduction and
fuel economy enhancement. One of the latest products is Super Dyma,
which is fifteen times more rust-resistant than conventional galvanized
steel sheets. Eco-products which are free of harmful chemicals such as
hexavalent chromium and lead are widely used in home electric
appliances like video cassette recorders. For more information visit: www.0.nsc.co.jp/shinnihon_english/jigyo/index.html.
About Sumitomo Corp.
Sumitomo Corporation conducts commodity transactions in all industries
utilizing worldwide networks and also provides related customers with
various financing, serves as an organizer and a coordinator for various
projects, and invests in businesses from the information industry to
the retailing industry. Sumitomo Corporation thus shows great
diversification as an Integrated Business Enterprise. For more
information visit: www.sumitomocorp.co.jp/english/index.htm.
CITIZEN TO LAUNCH REVOLUTIONARY CURVED CLOCK USING E INK’S ELECTRONIC PAPER DISPLAY
Citizen Watch Co., Ltd. (president, Makoto Umehara), T.I.C.-Citizen
Co., Ltd. (president, Toshio Takahashi), and E Ink Corporation
(Massachusetts, U.S.A., president & CEO, Russell J. Wilcox) are
pleased to announce the demonstration of the world’s first curved clock
product to utilize an electronic paper display (EPD). This unique
design is enabled by E Ink® Imaging Film. This easy-to-read, low-power
display component is fully conformable, allowing product designers more
creative freedom than ever before. Citizen Watch Co. and T.I.C.-Citizen
Co. worked closely with E Ink to develop the electronic paper display
used in this new clock.
Displays made with E Ink Imaging Film provide a number of benefits over traditional display technologies, including:
- Exceptional Readability : Roughly twice the contrast of a
reflective LCD, EPD’s can be easily read in bright sunlight or in dimly
lit environments and at virtually any angle.
- Low Power Consumption: In addition to the fact that no
backlighting is required, the display also has an inherently stable
“memory effect” which requires no power to maintain an image – both of
which drastically increase the battery life. The result is 1/100 the
power consumption of traditional display options.
- Versatile, Flexible Form: E Ink Imaging Film allows product
designers to create entirely new designs that were never possible
before. This thin, flexible display can be used to create curved,
These benefits allow the clock to be installed in locations that would
otherwise be difficult with other technologies. In applications where
portability is valued, this extended battery life enables the clock to
be easily used as a “mobile” product.
Citizen Watch Co. and T.I.C.-Citizen Co. have not yet announced a
launch date for this product, but it is expected to be commercialized
in Japan in 2005. Plans for the international launch are under
consideration, along with other design interpretations.
About Citizen Watch Co.
Founded in 1930, Citizen Watch Co. was named after the policy, to
provide the best products and services to all “citizens” in the world.
Citizen is recognized as a worldwide leader in Watch Industry,
especially in advanced technology. Citizen has consistently drawn on
its leadership in watch technologies to create new possibilities in
information and electric equipment, precision parts and industrial
machinery. At the same time, Citizen takes on the challenge of
next-generation ultra-precision fields, by moving beyond the
conventional thinking about watch technologies and precision
processing. Citizen news can be found at: www.citizen.co.jp/english.
E INK LAUNCHES ELECTRONIC PAPER PROTOTYPE KITS
Lets Engineers Easily Design a Handheld Device Using an Electronic Paper Display
E Ink Corporation, the leading source of electronic paper display (EPD)
technology, today announced that it will offer samples of electronic
paper displays through the AM-100 EPD Prototype Kit, enabling
prototyping across a wide range of display applications. The
high-resolution display in this kit is bright, high-contrast, thin,
lightweight, viewable from all angles and able to operate with
dramatically less energy than liquid crystal displays (LCDs).
“If your job is to design a product with a battery and a display, then
you need to understand what an electronic paper display can do for
you,” said Russ Wilcox, CEO at E Ink. “The best way to do that is to
buy this kit and try it out for yourself.”
This is the first high-resolution developer kit that contains a
graphical electronic paper display. E Ink’s EPD technology offers the
bright, bold look of ink-on-paper and is ideal for mobile devices
because it can be read in any lighting condition, including direct
sunlight, and at any viewing angle – just like paper. A resolution of
170 pixels per inch (PPI) and the ca
pability of displaying four gray
levels give this 6″ diagonal display text quality with the clarity of
newsprint. Once updated, the display image remains visible without
energy, so the power draw of the display is reduced by up to 99%
compared to traditional LCDs.
“This kit has al
l the essential tools for building innovative product
prototypes using an electronic paper display,” explained Ryosuke
Kuwada, vice president of sales and marketing at E Ink. “Product
companies are discovering they can move to bigger screens, and at the
same time, reduce the product weight because of the power savings.”
In addition to the display module, the kit also includes a development
board containing an Intel XScale processor and the Linux operating
system, as well as I/O support for MMC cards, Bluetooth, and USB, and
open source software drivers and applications.
“Controlling your new electronic paper screen from a desktop PC would
be really limiting,” explained Holly Gates, senior electrical engineer
at E Ink. “Most of our customers want to make working prototypes that
are portable. So we put the control electronics onto a tiny board you
can slip right into your own casing and operate from batteries. Product
engineers could easily build their own electronic reader with this kit.”
High-resolution electronic paper displays are created using an E Ink®
Imaging Film which is then laminated to a glass-based thin film
transistor (TFT). The result is an EPD module that is sold to
innovative product companies. E Ink has partnered with Prime View
International (PVI) of Taiwan as the leading supplier of active matrix
display modules. High volume purchases of displays will be sold
directly by PVI.
Products using E Ink’s high-resolution display technology were first
launched in April 2004 by SONY Corporation in its LIBRIé electronic
book device, available in Japan. In addition to SONY, Seiko, Citizen
and Microsoft have used E Ink’s EPD technology in innovative
E Ink has active customers in the areas of electronic readers, watches,
clocks and signs. Future uses for E Ink’s technology include
smartcards, medical devices, portable consumer electronics, and mobile
For ordering and more information about the kit, please visit: www.eink.com/kits
NEOLUX ANNOUNCES INK-IN-MOTION’S ENTRANCE INTO THE ELECTRONIC ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
Microsoft Utilizes Revolutionary Point-of-Purchase Technology for Latest XBOX Game Release Promotion
Neolux Corporation, a leading manufacturer and distributor of
advertising and promotional displays, today announced the first major
commercial sale within the electronic entertainment industry of
Ink-In-Motion®, a flashing electronic display that combines the proven
promotional effectiveness of motion with the visual appeal of
ink-on-paper. Microsoft Corporation is using this cutting edge
point-of-purchase (POP) technology to promote its latest XBOX offering,
Bioware’s Jade Empire, in stores this week.
In addition to its paper-thin package, a typical Ink-In-Motion display
can animate continuously for up to 6 months using just two AA
batteries. These displays are ideal for high-impact POP signs in retail
environments where access to power outlets are often limited. In
addition to long battery life, these displays can be easily viewed from
all angles and under virtually any lighting condition.
“We are very happy to have Microsoft as an Ink-In-Motion customer. This
unique technology was able to meet the customer’s requirements for
effective animation, easy installation, and on-time distribution,” said
Woo-Jong Kang, CEO of NeoLux.
The Ink-In-Motion solution that Neolux created for Jade Empire was
unlike any other motion POP solution Microsoft has used. Microsoft was
particularly pleased with the displays “eye-catching” appeal, which
will ensure consumer stopping power, and its thinness and long battery
life allow for an easy roll-out to their distribution channel.
The core enabling technology for Ink-In-Motion is an electronic paper
display material manufactured by E Ink Corporation called electronic
ink. Processed into an imaging film, this electronic ink layer is
sandwiched between a customized electronics layer and a color overlay
to give marketers a wide range of design freedom for effective
advertising and promotional campaigns.
“POP designers have long recognized the value of adding animation, but
they faced troublesome limitations in design, space, cost, and power.
Now, with Ink-In-Motion, they can add a simple motion component that
builds their brand, integrates easily, and lasts for months on
batteries,” said Darren Bischoff, senior marketing manager for E Ink.
NOTE: For ordering information, visit Neolux’s Ink-In-Motion website at www.neoluxiim.com.
WORLD’S FIRST ELECTRONIC PAPER WATCH DEMONSTRATED
Joint Development Between E Ink Corporation and Seiko Epson Yields Revolutionary Curved Watch Display
E Ink Corporation, Seiko Epson Corporation, and Seiko Watch Corporation
are pleased to announce the demonstration of the world’s first watch to
utilize an electronic paper display. This ‘Future Now’ design
incorporates an easy-to-read, ultra-thin, low-power display integrated
into an eye-catching curved band.
The unique electronic paper display module in this Seiko watch is the
result of a joint development effort, bringing together E Ink’s
‘electronic ink’ technology and Seiko Epson’s advanced display
manufacturing and electronic circuitry techniques. When combined, these
technologies offer a wide range of display design possibilities –
This electronic paper technology enables a new generation of personal devices with the following display benefits:
- Ultra High Contrast: The display is made up of pure black and
pure white particles which allow the same contrast as found on a
printed page; twice the contrast, in fact, of an LCD panel. It can be
easily read in either bright sunlight or in dimly lit environments.
- Ultra Thin / Flexible: The display is much thinner than is
possible with any conventional display technology, analog or digital.
The display can also be flexible allowing designs never before
- Low Power Consumption: Since the display is readable under very
low light conditions, no backlighting is required. The display also has
an inherently stable ‘memory effect’ that requires no power to maintain
an image. For these reasons, battery life can be extended.
- Seiko expects to commercialize this ‘Future Now’ watch in Japan
by the spring of 2006. Plans for the international launch are under
consideration, along with other design interpretations.
NOTE: The watch prototype was shown by Seiko Watch Corporation for the
first time at the Baselworld Watch and Jewelry Show held in Basel,
Switzerland from 31 March to 7 April 2005.
Epson is a global leader in imaging products including printers,
projectors and LCDs. With an innovative and creative culture, Eps
dedicated to exceeding the vision and expectations of customers
worldwide with products known for their superior quality,
functionality, compactness and energy efficiency. Epson is a network of
84,899 employees in 110 companies around the world, and is proud of its
ongoing contributions to the glob
al environment and to the communities
in which it is located. Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corp., the
Group had consolidated sales of 1,413 billion yen in fiscal 2003.
About Seiko Watch Corporation
Since being established in 1881, Seiko has been the innovator of
several revolutionary time pieces commencing with the production of
Japan’s first wristwatch in 1913 and including the creation of the
world’s first quartz watch in 1969. Watch operations have been handled
by Seiko Watch Corporation since July 1, 2001. Seiko Watch Corporation
has a comprehensive marketing program, including product planning,
advertising campaigns, sales activities targeting retail stores, and
E INK RECEIVES INVESTMENT FROM INTEL CAPITAL
E Ink Corporation, the leading developer and marketer of electronic
paper display technology, today announced that Intel Capital has
invested an undisclosed amount in the company.
“Intel Capital has a global reputation and brings a wealth of resources
beyond simple cash,” said Russ Wilcox, President and CEO.
“We are pleased to receive Intel Capital’s investment and will be using
this funding to help improve the next generation of our paper-like
display technology through increased R&D,” said Ken Titlebaum, Vice
President of Finance.
E Ink Corporation products enable a new type of electronic display with
a bright white background and crisp text and pictures similar to
printed documents. Once updated, the display can maintain an image
without using power, enabling over 90% power savings compared to
traditional displays and greatly extending the battery life of portable
devices. Some versions are available on plastic and can be flexed and
rolled, combining the complete look and feel of a paper document with
the versatility of digital control and wireless update. The company’s
products are used in electronic book devices, information kiosks, and
advertising signage. Future uses for E Ink’s technology include
smartcards, watches, clocks, medical devices, consumer electronics, and
TOPPAN EXHIBITS WALL-SIZED ELECTRONIC PAPER SIGN AT EXPO 2005 AICHI, JAPAN
“Yomiuri Global Newspaper” Delivers Fresh News to Visitors Twice Daily
TOPPAN Printing Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; President:
Naoki Adachi) will exhibit a large-scale wall-sized newspaper utilizing
E Ink Electronic Paper at EXPO 2005 Aichi (Nickname: Ai-Chikyuhaku;
Official name: The 2005 World Exposition, Aichi, Japan) which starts
March 25, 2005.
This wall-size newspaper application of Electronic Paper is called
“Yomiuri Global Newspaper – Electronic Paper” (Issued by: The Yomiuri
Shimbun; Cooperation: TOPPAN Printing) and will be exhibited at the
Yomiuri Newspaper booth in the Global House, which is the symbol
pavilion of the EXPO, located in the Nagakute Area. The latest news
will be displayed twice daily (morning and evening) through the
duration of the EXPO (March 25th – September 25th, 2005).
This large wall-size newspaper is built from 272 individual electronic
paper “tiles,” which is a combination of an E Ink® Imaging Film
laminated onto a printed circuit board with pixel electrodes. The
result is an electronic paper newspaper approximately 2.2 meters high
and 2.6 meters wide, the world’s largest of its kind.
It uses a design layout similar to actual newspaper, where the
headlines and article text are displayed on monochrome electronic paper
and color photos are displayed on an LCD panel.
Specifications of the Wall-Sized Electronic Newspaper:
- Display Size: 2176 mm (H) x 2600 mm (W) [7.2 feet x 8.5 feet]
- 272 Electronic Paper Tiles of 68 mm (H) x 260 mm (W) / 1 45″ LCD Monitor, approx. 560 mm (H) x 990 mm (W)
- Display Control Method: Electronic Paper: Segmented / LCD Monitor: TFT Active Matrix
- Pixel Size: 4mm square
- Electronic Paper: approx. 10W (less than 16W during data processing)
- LCD Monitor: approx. 250W
You can find more information about EXPO 2005 at: www.expo2005.or.jp/en/index.html.
NOTE: TOPPAN Printing Company and E Ink Corporation have had a
strategic partnership since 2001 spanning the development, manufacture
and marketing of electronic paper displays. Most recently, E Ink and
TOPPAN announced a manufacturing and marketing agreement for large area
electronic paper displays (www.eink.com/news/releases/pr76.html). Toppan is also an investor in E Ink Corporation.
About E Ink Corporation
E Ink Corporation is the leading developer of electronic paper display
(EPD) technologies. The company’s display technology is currently sold
in Japan as a component in the LIBRIé electronic book by SONY
Corporation. Future technology developments will enable many new
applications through ultra-thin, lightweight, rugged, flexible, full
color displays. E Ink is a private corporation that includes among its
investors Toppan Printing Company, Royal Philips Electronics, The
Hearst Corporation, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.,
Universal-Vivendi, Gannett Co., Inc., and Motorola, Inc. E Ink recently
announced customer relationships with Vossloh Information Technologies,
Neolux Inc. and Midori Mark, Inc. E Ink news can be found at: www.eink.com.