Sharp Begins Mass Production of Retina-Resolution IGZO Displays
IDG News reports that Sharp has announced the start of mass production of new ultra high-resolution displays based on IGZO (indium gallium zinc oxide) materials. Early rumors had suggested that Apple might use the IGZO displays in the new iPad, but whether due to later-than-expected availability or other considerations, Apple elected not to do so.
Apple has, however, also been claimed to be considering IGZO for its rumored television set, which analysts are expecting to debut late this year or early next year.
Sharp said the new technology allows for twice the detail of existing panels at the same transparency, which means high-resolution devices can be designed that require less power and space for backlighting. The company said the new displays cut power consumption by up to 90 percent versus those currently in use.
Less lighting and smaller battery requirements allow for thinner devices, and analysts have said Apple will use IGZO displays in its upcoming products, including its highly-anticipated entry into the smart TV market.
In its press release, Sharp gives several different examples of displays at different sizes being manufactured using IGZO materials, including 7-inch tablet screens running at 1280x800 (217 pixels per inch), 10-inch notebook screens running at 2560x1600 (300 ppi), and 32-inch LCD monitor screens running at 3840x2160 (140 ppi).
Apple's current Mac products typically register at roughly 100-130 ppi, and a rumored 2880x1800 15-inch MacBook Pro would come in at 220 ppi. Sharp's examples of a 10-inch screen at 300 ppi and a 32-inch screen at only 140 ppi don't exactly match up with the pixel density expected for Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro, but it seems that Sharp may be well on its way toward accommodating such a display while embracing the benefits of the new IGZO materials.