Samsung Electronics has developed a flat-panel display unit for clamshell-style mobile phones which could help manufacturers make thinner and cheaper handsets.
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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 latest module 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 has such a component.
The module contains a 1.8-inch TFT colour 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 1mm thinner than two independent displays would be, according to Samsung, which would work out to a reduction in depth of between 3% and 5% in an average clamshell phone. Cost savings are expected to be around 20% over the price of two independent display panels.
The dual display will enter production next month.
Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service