TOKYO and REDMOND, Wash., July 10, 2000 — Toshiba Corp. and Microsoft Corp. today announced they will jointly develop specifications for a color, low-temperature polysilicon thin-film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) that both companies believe will become widely adopted for midsize electronic book devices. The two companies recently completed the basic specifications for the new line of products and plan to have the displays integrated into prototype devices by the end of this year.
The new low-temperature polysilicon display will support the same image quality achieved by digital photography and will take full advantage of Microsoft® ClearType™
display technology. The high quality of on-screen readability is expected to become an important factor in generating interest in upcoming purpose-built eBook devices and to provide further stimulus for the emergence of electronic publishing and distribution over the Internet. The basic specifications for the new eBook LCD are a 7.7-inch diagonal screen; a 640×960 display with 150 ppi (pixels per inch) resolution; and a transmissive, color TFT in portrait mode.
Microsoft Reader, the world’s first eBook reader application featuring ClearType technology, delivers an on-screen computer reading experience that for the first time approaches the convenience and quality of text printed on paper. Reader adheres to the traditions and benefits of fine typography and provides a clean, uncluttered display; ample margins; full justification; proper spacing, leading and kerning; and powerful tools for bookmarking, highlighting and annotation.
Microsoft has already released Microsoft Reader for Pocket PCs and is scheduled to release a version for desktop and laptop PCs this summer, with yet another version optimized for dedicated reading devices to follow shortly thereafter.
“Toshiba’s high-resolution eBook LCDs will be specially designed for Microsoft Reader with ClearType and will allow manufacturers to build dedicated reading devices with the best portable electronic reading experience ever seen,”
said Dick Brass, vice president of Technology Development at Microsoft.
“Currently, suitable paperback-sized portrait-mode color LCDs that support ClearType do not exist in the market,”
said Sakae Arai, chief technology executive at Toshiba.
“Toshiba believes that the success of electronic books lies with next-generation portable eBook devices that deliver a reading experience that rivals paper. Microsoft Reader with ClearType combined with our new eBook LCDs gives us that.”
Low-temperature polysilicon TFT LCDs offer higher resolution, richer color and more design flexibility than other LCD technologies. The crystallized silicon used supports much faster electron flows in the transistors than the uncrystallized silicon used in mainstream amorphous silicon TFT LCDs, which allows most LCD drivers to be integrated directly on the display panel itself rather than externally. As a result, the space required at the periphery of the panel is minimized, the number of components in the LCD module is cut by 40 percent, and the number of connections between TAB drivers and electrodes on the panel is reduced by 95 percent.
Low-temperature polysilicon displays also achieve lower power consumption and higher durability, making them ideal for mobile terminals ranging from notebook PCs to PDAs to eBooks. Toshiba, the industry leader in low-temperature polysilicon LCDs, produces 30,000 400×500 mm glass substrates a month today and plans to produce an additional 25,000 550×670 mm glass substrates a month starting in April 2001.
Toshiba is a leader in information and communications systems, electronic components, consumer products and power systems. The company’s integration of these wide-ranging capabilities ensures its position as an innovator in advanced components, products and systems. Toshiba has 191,000 employees worldwide and annual sales of over U.S. $50 billion. Visit Toshiba’s Web site at http://www.toshiba.co.jp/ .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.
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