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Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Sharp Develops Free-Form Display

Sharp has developed a Free-Form Display, a product that enables the creation of new display designs to match a variety of applications.

The Free-Form Display can be shaped to meet a wide range of user needs thanks to the incorporation of IGZO technology and proprietary circuit design methods. Conventional displays are rectangular because they require a minimal width for the bezel in order to accommodate the drive circuit, called the gate driver, around the perimeter of the screen's display area. With the Free-Form Display, the gate driver's function is dispersed throughout the pixels on the display area. This allows the bezel to be shrunk considerably, and it gives the freedom to design the LCD to match whatever shape the display area of the screen needs to be.

For in-vehicle applications, for example, this development makes it possible to have a single instrument panel on the car dashboard that combines a speedometer and other monitors. There are other possibilities for displays with sophisticated designs, including wearable devices with elliptical displays and digital signage and other large monitors that draw the viewer into the onscreen world.

Sharp said it plans to enter the mass-production stage for the Free-Form Display at the earliest possible date.

Deal with Foxconn

In related news, Foxconn?s chairman is once again wooing Japanese press as he tries to reach an investment deal with Sharp.

Foxconn, agreed to buy a 10% stake in the cash-strapped Japanese electronics maker for 66.9 billion yen ($708 million) in March 2012, but the agreement unraveled last March after dismal earnings reports.

A year later, Foxconn Chairman Terry Gou has given several interviews to Japanese media, including the Nikkei business daily, stressing his success in turning around Sharp?s operations, his respect for Japan, and his debt to his mentors at giants such as Toyota, Panasonic, and Sony.

Gou said he is still eager to invest in Sharp, if Sharp would agree on giving him a 9.9% stake at market value.

Instead of a capital tie-up with Foxconn, Sharp has turned to U.S.-based chip company Qualcomm and South Korean rival Samsung for a lifeline.

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