Japan Display Creates an LCD Display Without the Backlight

bp9801 - November 6, 2012 01:34AM in Monitors

LCD technology hasn't changed much at all over the years in terms of how we see the image. A backlight is still used no matter how thin the screen is, but now that is no longer the case for one company. Japan Display has created an LCD display that doesn't use a backlight, but rather reflected light, like a mirror, to show an image. The reflected light renders a monochromatic image while the screen uses color filters to display the final picture. It's a rather fascinating technology, and one that eliminates a wealth of power consumption by dropping the backlight. The screen apparently only uses three milliwatts of power when displaying a still image, since each pixel can retain a signal and remember the color without using power. That alone could prove very useful as an alternative to E-Ink displays for e-readers, but everything is not all roses.

The display features some muted colors and a rather poor 30:1 contrast ratio. However, Japan Display, despite acknowledging those issues, says the technology is ready for mass production. It'll certainly be interesting to see how well it catches on, and if the colors and contrast ratio can be improved over time.