Samsung develops space-saving cellphone display

Samsung Electronics has developed a new flat panel display unit for clamshell-style cellular telephones that could help manufacturers make thinner and cheaper handsets.

In most clamshell phones, the main and sub displays are installed back to back in the upper portion of the telephone, one facing outwards and one facing inwards. Samsung's new module, announced Monday, takes advantage of this configuration and uses a common backlight that is shared by each display.

A backlight component provides the light to illuminate the display. Almost every type of LCD (liquid crystal display) has such a component.

The module contains a 1.8 inch TFT (thin film transistor) color main display, which has 128 pixel by 160 pixel resolution, and a 1.2 inch color sub display, with a 96 pixel by 96 pixel resolution.

The two displays can also be controlled by a single chip rather than independent chips for each display. Savings in both cost and size are possible by condensing the two backlights and two controllers each into a single component, said Sung Hae Park, a spokeswoman for Samsung Electronics.

In size, the module is about a millimeter thinner than two independent displays would be, according to Samsung. That works out to a reduction in depth of between 3 percent and 5 percent in an average clamshell-type cellular telephone. Cost savings are expected to be around 20 percent over the price of two independent display panels, Park said.

The dual display will enter production in September, she said.

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