Sharp, SEL develop semiconductor technology that reduces display power consumption

June 11, 2012 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Display manufacturer Sharp Corp. and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co (SEL) have announced that have jointly developed a new oxide semiconductor (IGZO) technology with high crystallinity. This material will enable higher resolutions, lower power consumption, and higher performance touch screens, as well as narrower bezel widths for LCD display panels used in mobile devices such as smartphones.

The companies named the new crystalline structure a CAAC (C-Axis Aligned Crystal) structure. Details of the joint development have been presented at the 2012 SID Display Week Symposium in Boston as part of the annual international conference of the Society for Information Display. According to a release from Sharp, the new material requires less and / or smaller LEDs for display backlights. Thus, the displays require less energy.

The IGZO technology imparts crystallinity in an oxide semiconductor composed of indium (In), gallium (Ga) and zinc (Zn). Compared to current amorphous IGZO semiconductors, it enables smaller thin-film transistors to be achieved and provides higher performance. The material is expected to be adopted for use in LCD displays for mobile devices such as smartphones where the trend toward higher screen resolutions is growing increasingly strong. Further, it can also be adapted for use in organic EL displays which hold out high expectations for the future. Although challenges to commercialization remain in terms of both service life and production, the two companies said they will continue to push ahead with R&D.

With the aim of early commercialization LCD displays using the new IGZO technology, the two companies will also be pursuing R&D to expand the use of this material in non-display devices and to develop applications other than displays in the future.