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Electronic Design

LCDs Boast Digitizer Tablet And Built-In Image Capture

TFT polysilicon LCD panels address the needs of tablet PCs, PDAs, palmtops, and notebook computers.

At the recent Society for Information Displays Conference, Toshiba America Electronic Components announced that it is expanding its line of Kangaroo LCD modules for tablet PCs with a 12.1-in. thin-film transistor (TFT) LCD, the LTD121KA0S.

The module includes a pocket behind the LCD panel for inserting a digitizer tablet between the panel and the backlighting unit without interference from the left or right of the display's backside. The XGA (1024 by 768 pixels) unit features luminance of 170 cd/m2 (at 6 mA), 260,000 colors, and 4.5-W power consumption (at 6 mA). Pixel pitch is 0.24 mm, and there's an LVDS-type (low-voltage differential signaling) interface. Samples as well as full production orders of the display cost $350.

Toshiba also demonstrated the first system-on-glass (SOG) input display. This novel low-temperature TFT polysilicon 3.5-in. prototype LCD not only displays color images, it also captures images such as photos and printed text for storing into a computer. Two-dimensional photo sensors embedded within the LCD make this capability possible. The transmissive LCD features QVGA resolution (320 by 240 pixels) and 260,000 colors.

"Capturing and displaying images of business cards is an example of a PDA application for this device," says Steve Vrablick, LCD business development director for TAEC. "This technology could be used to capture data from a catalog, read barcodes, recognize and authenticate fingerprints for security applications, or import a private route map into a PDA from a navigation system."

"This breakthrough technology offers a new approach to image capture that opens up many possibilities for new consumer and business applications in mobile electronics devices by adding image-sensing functionality to the display without the need for additional hardware," adds Alexis Gerard, president of research firm Future Image Inc.

See associated figure

Toshiba America Electronic Components
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