Tablets with “Retina” Quality Screens May Emerge in 2012 - Analysts

Average Pixel Density Set to Grow in Coming Years, Thanks to Mobile Devices

by Anton Shilov
10/11/2011 | 12:58 PM

Increasing demand for high information content and multimedia capability in mobile devices continues to drive flat panel display resolution to higher levels of pixel density. For example, the next generation of tablets may get screens with 2048*1536 resolution. As a result, the average pixel density of flat panel displays is expected to grow over the next few years.

 

At present panel makers aredeveloping ultra-high resolutions, such as 2K (2048*1556) or 4K (4096*2160) for TVs and QXGA (2048*1536 pixels) for tablet PCs. According to the latest report from DisplaySearch, the average pixels per inch (PPI) of large-area (over 9.1”) TFT LCDs will increase from 88ppi in 2010 to 98ppi in 2015, while averageppi for small/medium (less than 9.0”) TFT LCDs will grow from 180 to 210 over the same period. Mobile phones are the most obvious driver of increasingppi due to growth in smart phones, with displays like 3.5” 960*640 resolution (330ppi), 4.3” 800*480 (217ppi) and 1280*800 (330ppi).

In 2010, the share of mobile phone displays (including TFT LCD and AMOLED) with more than 200ppi was 22%. By 2015, the share is forecast to reach 50%, and increase further to 55% in 2018.

Mobile Phone Display Resolution Trends 

 “As consumers come to expect multimedia performance and internet access on handheld devices such as mobile phones or tablet PCs, it is important for such devices to utilize high resolution displays,” said Hiroshi Hayase, DisplaySearch Vice President for Small/Medium Display Research, “

“Panel makers are rapidly commercializing a variety technology solutions that enable super high resolution FPDs, such as low temperature polysilicon (LTPS) and other high mobility backplane materials, low resistivity metal bus lines, high aperture ratio pixel designs, and laser induced thermal imaging (LITI) for AMOLEDs,” said Charles Annis, vice president for manufacturing research at DisplaySearch.

Later this year and early in 2012, products will offer displays such as 7” 1280*800 (215ppi), 9.7” 2048*1536 (264ppi) and 10.1” 1920*1200 (218ppi). Such products are expected to be attractive to consumers who spend more time on applications that require pixel formats closer to that of PCs or TVs.

Pixel Density Evolution in PC and Smartphone Displays

“More and more consumers are expecting seamless experience and visual performance between smart phones and tablet PCs, and manufacturers are looking to extend high resolutions from smart phones to tablet PCs,” added Mr. Hayase.