Pixel Qi Gets Serious About Shipping Displays
12/22/2010 by: John Oram
Pixel Qi and Chunghwa Picture Tubes (CPT) announced an LCD manufacturing partnership on Tuesday. Together, the companies are developing three new screens of differing sizes which will reach the market at various times in 2011. CPT has a monthly production capacity of 40 million LCD screens or nearly 500 million LCD screens per year.
We have been following Mary Lou Jepsen since she was the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for the One Laptop per Child (OLPC), an organization whose mission is to deliver low-cost, mesh-networked laptops en masse to children in developing countries. Back then, everyone said that nobody could build a laptop that inexpensively.
Our first encounter with Pixel Qi was at the 2009 O'Reilly Conference. Mary Lou Jepsen is the magician who has aligned all the pixels and waved her magic-wand to get a fab to produce their prototype displays. Pixel Qi proved that their 10.1-inch display has superior outdoor reading and uses less power than anyone else.
Pixel Qi uses a unique way to take advantage of available light
The development phase is over and the volume manufacturing and shipment begin. Previously, Pixel Qi announced distribution agreements with Realease and Display Solution. Realease will build you a 10.1-inch tablet and land them in volume at your doorstep. Display Solution will provide Pixel Qi displays for your own integration.
For those that haven't actually seen a Pixel Qi display, there are several Youtube videos. The most interesting one compares outdoor viewing of the Apple iPad and the Pixel Qi 3qi display.
If you own an older netbook, you can replace the display with a Pixel Qi 3qi by talking with Maker Shed. For a few hundred dollars, you can update your display and save at least 25 percent of your battery power. So, a two hour netbook suddenly becomes a three hour, with up to six hours between battery charges if you stay in the black-white mood without backlite. That works great for eBook reading.
Jepsen said in their announcement that "this alliance started early last summer when CPT showed a transflective screen of its own design at a Taiwanese trade show. Discussions between the two companies at that show made it apparent that Pixel Qi and CPT should work together to bring stronger product to market faster. A close alliance was formed and the teams have been working together quietly all fall. They have created samples of a 7" 1024×600 screens scheduled for mass production in early Q2 2011, which will be first publicly shown at the CES 2011 exhibition in Las Vegas in early January 2011. This represents an expansion of Pixel Qi’s manufacturing strength beyond its first LCD manufacturing partner who has been shipping Pixel Qi’s 10” screen."
Dr. Belle Fu, vice president of manufacturing at Pixel Qi, said "This great alliance will bring out a robust sequence of exciting screens during 2011 and it’s an exciting development for the whole industry."
Many people simply do not understand the time it takes to develop a new product and move it into mass production. Pixel Qi has shown the industry a relatively short turn around time from an innovative new idea to mass production. Mary Lou Jepsen promised to give BSN* a look at all their new technology at CES 2010. It's been a year already...
Pixel Qi, CPT, Chunghwa Picture Tubes, One Laptop per Child, OLPC, CTO, Realease, Display Solution, Maker Shed, netbook, tablet, LCD, CES 2011, Mary Lou Jepsen, Belle Fu
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