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E Ink Unveils Full-color Electronic Paper

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E ink, the company we’ve come to know and love because of their pigment-based, low-energy monochromatic displays, has found a way to create up to 32,000 colors using the same technology.

Many of today’s popular readers are using E ink’s black-and-white technology, and many more are expected to make use of the new polychromatic breakthrough. The company has unveiled the discovery on Tuesday at this year’s SID Display Week conference in San Francisco.

“For the first time, we can create all colors at every pixel location,” excitedly said E Ink Holding’s Head of Global marketing Giovanni Mancini. To do that, they incorporated four different pigments: magenta, yellow, cyan, and white.

When it comes to traditional monochromatic technology, it’s easy to work with only two colors. The microcups work by changing the polarity to move the pigments around, allowing the white and black pigments to basically switch places.

But with the new full-color electrophoretic display, E Ink had to come up with a more complicated way to deal with the pigments in each tiny cup. The properties of each pigment allow E Ink to have greater control over their position and movement on the display.

This is how E Ink can create combinations that result in up to 32,000 display colors. The results are pretty stunning, with maximum control offered by each cup with its controllable pixel.

While wildly popular, E Ink is not the only one in the low-power color display market. The full-color Mirasol display technology provided by Qualcomm has been around for over six years.

Instead of using pigments, capsules and polarity, like E Ink, Mirasol comes with a fully mechanical system that needs almost no power to maintain the image once it’s set on the screen.

There are some limitations when it comes to color E Ink. The resolution is 150 pixels per inch (ppi), which is only half the resolution you find on the 6-inch, monochromatic E Ink display.

In addition, the full-color E Ink is not yet able to instantly refresh its screen like today’s e-readers. As it is now, a color E Ink display will take some two seconds to fully resolve.

But Mancini isn’t worried, because the new technology has other great strengths, like the highly saturated colors, which are akin to “what you would see on printed poster, paper type of product,” he said.
Image Source: Gizmodo

About Ariana Whitmore

She has been writing columns on consumer gadgets since 2010. Her areas of interests include smartphones, tablets, mobile OS and apps. She holds M.C.S. degree and working on her startup, which aims to solve IT support issues.

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