While not all standards are yet in place for mass adoption of ultra-high-definition (UHD) adoption by the mass market, the 4K resolution is about a year away from becoming a standard for high-end TV setups as well as for high-end workstations. To support emerging demand for 4K panels for notebooks, Sharp Corp. initiated sampling of 15.6” panels with 3840*2160 resolution this month.
Sharp has become the first company to realize 4K resolution for LCD panels used in notebook PCs. This was made possible by employing IGZO technology, which improves light transmission and enables thin-film transistors to be more compact. Improved light transmission translates into a reduction in electricity consumption, as does IGZO technology's ability to suppress the liquid crystal driving current when a static image is displayed. This serves to extend the battery life of a notebook PC. IGZO technology is also compatible with touch-panel designs supporting pen-based input.
Sharp began sample deliveries of IGZO LCD panels that, for the first time ever, realize 3840*2160 resolution in a 15.6-inch notebook PC (282 pixels per inch density); deliveries began in September 2013. Production is scheduled to start at Sharp's Kameyama Plant No. 2 from February 2014. While the first adopter of the display is unknown, it is highly likely that Apple will install the panel onto its next-generation MacBook Pro 15.6” laptop provided that supplies are decent.
Utilizing the high-resolution display and energy-saving characteristics of IGZO LCD panels, Sharp plans to extend the application of this technology into devices such as smartphones, tablet PCs, notebook PCs, and 4K displays.
Currently Sharp sells 15.6” IGZO LCD panels with 3200*1800 resolution.