Epson and E Ink Announce Breakthrough Controller IC for Electronic Paper Displays
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Seiko Epson Corporation
Suwa, Nagano, Japan
Press release date: April 15, 2008
New Chip Enables Faster Navigation, Multitasking, and Real-Time Pen/Keyboard Input
SAN JOSE, Calif., April 15 -- Embedded Systems Conference -- Seiko Epson Corporation ("Epson"), a global supplier of semiconductor solutions, and its subsidiary, Epson Electronics America Inc., together with E Ink(R) Corporation, the leading developer and marketer of electronic paper display (EPD) technology, today announced a jointly developed display controller IC delivering new capabilities for E Ink's Vizplex(TM)-enabled electronic paper displays. EPD's low-power-consumption screen technology is driving an emerging class of new mobile applications, such as e-books, e-newspapers, tablet PCs, laptop secondary displays, e-notebooks, and e-dictionaries.
The new EPD controller IC (part number S1D13521B) was developed by combining technologies from both Epson and E Ink. It will be offered in production quantities by Epson and as part of E Ink's upcoming AM300 Broadsheet prototype kit.
The Epson display controller will bring greater functionality to EPDs using E Ink technology by speeding up the user interface via seamless navigation, drop down/popup menus, responsive cursors, and real-time keyboard entry. The controller enables the display to perform up to 16 tasks in parallel, and supports smooth and responsive pen input devices for annotations and sketches.
"Epson developed the powerful S1D13521 with E Ink to support new e-paper applications such as electronic newspapers, portable Web browsers and industrial tablets," said Russ Wilcox, president and CEO of E Ink. "With the ability to address many screen regions simultaneously, future devices using this chip could offer a fast menu interface, simple animations, higher grayscale levels, and user input through typing and touch."
"For many years, Epson has been offering various display controllers to the market. With this new controller IC, we are very excited to develop the emerging EPD display market together with E Ink. This new product reflects our shared commitment to developing electronic solutions that help to conserve energy and natural resources and are friendly to the environment," said Ryuhei Miyagawa, division manager for Epson's Semiconductor Operations Division.
The functionality of the Epson controller IC is fully enabled when integrated into a display solution utilizing a host controller, tuned waveforms, and E Ink's Vizplex-enabled active matrix electrophoretic displays. Its ability to perform regional updates contributes to a more responsive screen for both input and output usage.
Samples of the Epson S1D13521B will be available in May 2008. Production quantities will be available in August 2008. Sample price is $18.
The Broadsheet AM300 prototype kit being offered by E Ink is the fastest way to start working with E Ink technology using the Epson EPD controller. The Broadsheet kit will enable engineers to prototype and develop rapidly next-generation e-paper products. Compatible with 5-inch, 6-inch, 8-inch, and 9.7-inch active matrix displays, the kit allows users to create functional, low-profile product mock-ups quickly using E Ink's modular design. The AM300 will be shipping in June and is available online at http://www.eink.com/ for pre-order.
More information is available at http://www.eea.epson.com/LCD_Controllers. This link will be available April 16, 2008.
About E Ink Corporation
E Ink Corporation is the world's leading supplier of electronic paper display (EPD) technologies. E Ink's technology is ideal for many consumer and industrial applications spanning handheld devices, e-books, PC accessories, watches, clocks, and public information displays and promotional signs. E Ink is a private corporation that includes among its investors and strategic partners TOPPAN Printing Company, The Hearst Corporation, Intel Capital, Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., and Motorola, Inc. E Ink news can be found at: http://www.eink.com/.
Worldwide Amazon, ARINC, Bookeen, Emano Tec, eRead Technologies, HanLin, iRex, Neolux, Netronix, Sony, and Walkbook, are commercially offering mobile devices based on E Ink's Vizplex EPDs.
Epson is a global leader in imaging products including printers, 3LCD projectors and small- and medium-sized LCDs. With an innovative and creative culture, Epson is dedicated to exceeding the vision and expectations of customers worldwide with products known for their superior quality, functionality, compactness and energy efficiency.
Epson is a network of 87,626 employees in 117 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and to the communities in which it is located. Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corp., the Group had consolidated sales of 1416 billion yen in fiscal 2006.
About the Epson Semiconductor Operations Division
The creation of compact, low-power semiconductors has been Epson's focus since it started development of a CMOS LSI for watches in 1969. Since then, Epson has steadily built up expertise in power-saving, space-saving, and time-saving designs. This has enabled the rapid development of the semiconductor technology needed to meet the demands of the new era of ubiquitous networks. Epson has the unique technologies and a passion for excellence that enable it to deliver the high added-value solutions required in today's marketplace. Epson's goal is to be a true partner for businesses, providing them with strategic advantages for product development with technology to save power, time, and space.