Sharp to mass produce double-sided LCDs

Sharp Corp. will start mass production of a newly developed double-sided LCD (liquid crystal display) in May, the company said Wednesday.

Development of Sharp's Twin LCD dual-sided display was completed in December, Hitoshi Wakita, a company spokesman, said. The company expects to see high demand from the panel from the makers of mobile devices, such as cellular phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants), he said.

The Twin LCD display sandwiches a backlight and a system LSI (large-scale integrated circuit) chip -- both developed by Sharp -- between two LCD screens, allowing both sides of the display to work at the same time.

In Japan, one of the most popular cell phones incorportates a clamshell-shaped design with two LCD panels, one inside and a smaller display on the outside, which lets users see a caller's phone number while the phone is folded. However, the design requires two single-sided LCDs, each with its own backlight and system LSI chip.

The double-sided LCD display developed by Sharp will allow devices such as this type of cell phone to become 30 to 40 percent slimmer, 20 percent lighter and 10 percent cheaper, Wakita said.

Sharp could not disclose which companies plan to use the Twin LCD display. However, the display is likely to be used in mobile devices, Wakita said. The company will manufacture the products to its clients' specifications LCDs, he said, adding that the displays can be made in large or small sizes and can be either color or monochrome.

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