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Sharp to produce double-sided displays

Sharp has announced plans to start mass production of a newly developed double-sided LCD in May.

Development of Sharp's Twin LCD dual-sided display was completed in December 2001, company spokesman Hitoshi Wakita said. The company expects to see high demand from the panel from the makers of mobile devices.

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

One of the most popular mobile phones in Japan incorporates a clamshell-shaped design with two LCD panels, one inside and a smaller display on the outside, which displays 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 mobile phone to become 30-40% slimmer, 20% lighter and 10% cheaper, Wakita said.

Sharp could not disclose which companies plan to use the Twin LCD display.

Wakita said that the company will manufacture the products to its clients' specifications, with options for colour or monochrome displays.

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