Sharp Prepares To Launch Worlds First 8k Screen In October

Tech companies are on a constant cycle of innovation with the aim of enticing consumers to spend more and more of their hard-earned cash, Televisions are a perfect example of this and have seen SD being usurped by HD, this was before 3D pushed its way to the front for it to be then beaten by 4K. Now, 4K is not all you need as Sharp are preparing to launch the first ever 8K display which looks set for its market debut in October 2015.

Companies have attempted to develop “super hi-vision” resolution test models, but these have only been as a prototype and have not been commercially available. Sharp hope to break through this barrier with an 8K format which provides 16 times as many pixels as 1080p high-definition, It also creates an image so detailed that it can appear three-dimensional.

I bet you would like to own one, but there might be a slight problem with that. Firstly, Sharp have unveiled the 8K model which is a colossal 85 inches in size. That’s OK, I did not need that front room wall there anyway, and secondly, the price currently stands at $133,000 dollars (£86,000) which is a lot. The market and price point would dictate that only industries which include broadcasters and also other companies involved in testing the format would be able to afford such an expensive piece of kit.

One market analyst has suggested that “8K TVs which are targeted at consumers would be released around 2016, and we don’t expect they will cross one million units until after 2019,” said Abhi Mallick, from IHS Technology.  An image is below to convey the spec of these new screens as opposed to current pixel resolutions, as you can see, Full HD is dwarfed by the sheer detail of 8K.

It’s an exciting evolution in tech, albeit a slightly redundant one considering the lack of 8K featured content which is currently available to consumers. A further angle on this would be the demand aspect for such high-resolution screens, are consumers ready to adopt this format or is it one step to far for the commercial viability of 8K, 3D has been considered a damp squib for home adoption and content would need to be readily available in order for this format to succeed within the next few years or so, this would include an increase in broadband speeds for super hi res streaming content.

Thank you bbc for providing us with this information.


Amazing 5.5-Inch 4K Panel by Sharp Has a Pixel Density of 806ppi

Japanese multinational corporation Sharp recently unveiled an innovative piece of tech that pushes the boundaries of technology. We’re talking about the brand new 5.5-inch IGZO 4K smartphone display, which comes with an amazing pixel density of 806ppi. Scheduled for mass production in 2016, the panel will feature a resolution of 2160 x 3840 pixels and will undoubtedly look spectacular compared to what we are able to get our hands on today. Just to make things a little clearer, the HTC M9, which is arguably one of the most impressive smartphones on the market presently, flaunts a pixel density of 441ppi, while Samsung’s Galaxy S6 can brag with a density of 577ppi.

It’s true that many smartphone owners already consider 1440p to be a bit too much for 5-inch displays, as regular tasks such as web browsing or light gaming can definitely be enjoyed at lower resolutions. Still, it’s hard to ignore the potential benefits of higher resolutions and increased pixel densities, especially when we’re talking about 4k videos being reproduced pixel for pixel, not to mention the virtual reality implications. A VR headset equipped with Sharp’s panels could deliver an incredibly immersive experience, don’t you agree? The main problem with these panels is that they are probably quite power-hungry, which means that we should see some advancements in battery technology soon.

What do you think? Would you buy a smartphone with a 4k display?

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information.

Samsung, Disney, and Netflix Join Alliance For 4K Standardisation

A medium-spanning coalition of businesses has united to form the UHD (Ultra High Definition) Alliance with the aim of setting the standard for 4K and UHD content, terminology, and delivery. Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, and Sharp represent the TV industry, while Disney, Fox, Warner Bros., Netflix, and DirecTV cover content delivery, and Dolby and Technicolor as ambassadors of content creation.

H.S. Kim, executive for Samsung displays, said of the alliance, “This is a game changer. Most importantly, for consumers,” asserting that their goal is to establish a “healthy UHD ecosystem.”

For starters, the alliance wants to differentiate between the terms ‘4K’ and ‘UHD’, which, though used synonymously, refer to differing resolutions.

“Nothing but good can come from it,” said Lee. “It’s just a great opportunity for the industry to rally around UHD.”

Source: The Verge

Is Nintendo Getting Free-Form Display Tech From Sharp?

Reports from Sankei indicate that the Sharp Corporation could be providing Nintendo with its fancy free-form display technology. The new style of LCD screens can be created in a wide range of shapes that are perfect for a wide range of users; including game controllers such as those found in the Wii U.

Now it’s unknown what device this could be used for, but it’s no secret that games companies are always looking ahead to the next big thing, be that their next console release, or a new handheld device. It may also be used in the upcoming Quality of Life gadget that Nintendo is working on; effectively their take on the smart health and fitness technology that is currently very popular.

With holes in the screen, curved edges and more; it’s not hard to imagine this technology being used in a controller for the next Wii console.


Sharp Gives Up On Consumer Appliance Market in Europe, Reports Indicate

Japanese electronics manufacturer Sharp plans to license companies in Taiwan and Turkey to create home appliances for its customers in Europe, according to reports.

Sharp is speaking with Turkish company Vestel Elektronik Sanayi ve Ticaret AS about selling consumer goods, trying to stimulate sales.  Meanwhile, the company also is negotiating with TPV Technology in Taiwan to manufacture LCD TVs for European consumers, but it’s unknown when announcements will be made.

There have not been any official announcements just yet, as Sharp and its potential partners are in early stages to get a deal done.  Similar to other Japanese electronics companies, it has seen stocks drop and wants to shed unprofitable business sectors to counter this problem.

As Chinese and Korean electronics companies prosper, Japanese companies have struggled to keep up with rivals – Sony has had to shed unprofitable business while other Asian companies are going on buying sprees.

Thank you to Reuters for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Sharp DK

Sharp ‘Free-Form’ Technology Will Allow For Non-Rectangular Displays

Sharp has announced a new prototype technology which they say will allow future displays to break away from the rectangular shape that they are now and take on any shape that the designer wishes by nearly eliminating the bezel and the gate driver that it covers. Spurred on the current race to develop proprietary display for the likes of Apple’s iWatch, Sharp’s design sees the display drive circuit removed and shrunk down so that it can be dispersed around the pixels on the display area, reducing the bezel right down to almost nothing.

Based in an IGZO panel, the prototype design changes the way in which the power amplifiers are built and with the much thinner bezel, Sharp says that this gives the freedom to make the LCD whatever shape that it needs to be for a particular application, such as a car dashboard as on example.

“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”

Although this new technology is clearly still in a prototype stage, the huge number of potential applications for the ‘free-form’ display are huge, with the automotive industry just one example of where non-rectangular displays are likely to be found. There is no word on the cost of these displays, nor a projected date when they will be ready for the mass market, but Sharp assures us that they will begin production “at the earliest possible date”.

With many manufacturers racking to develop proprietary displays for the mobile market, with the speculated iWatch just being one example, Sharp may have hit on a potential goldmine right here and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a patent appear in the coming months as things develop.

Source and image courtesy of The Verge

Sharp Developing Notebook Display With Incredible 664 DPI and 7680 x 4320 Resolution

Just as you think that no more pixels can be crammed into a display Sharp comes along and proves everyone wrong. Sharp are developing an incredible 8K OLED display in the 13.3 inch form factor for notebook PCs. The mind-boggling display offers up a 7680 x 4320 8K resolution with an incredible pixel density of 664 PPI. The advanced prototype display has 500 million pixel transistors and the backplane has c-axis aligned crystalline oxide semiconductor field effect transistors. The display has been created by combining white-light LEDs with three different microcavities used to narrow wavelengths down to RGB colours. The red has apparently suffered due to the technique used offering “only” 84% of the colour gamut set by NTSC standards.

The bad news is that a spokesperson at the event where the display was shown off  said it was difficult to say if the new 8K OLED display would ever make it into consumer-grade products, especially not in the near future as we’re already struggling to mainstream 4K due to the high panel costs. 8K displays will almost definitely be the worthy successors to 4K displays but given the relative immaturity of 4K displays it looks like we still have some way to go before they become anything close to mainstream.

Source: Notebook Italia, Via: Softpedia

Image courtesy of Notebook Italia

4K Gaming Showdown – AMD R9 290X & R9 280X Vs Nvidia GTX Titan & GTX 780


***Please see our latest 4K Gaming article here which adds GTX 780 Ti, GTX 780 Ti SLI and R9 290X CFX to the mix***

With GPUs getting more and more powerful and 4K monitors becoming available for consumer purchase we thought we’d use AMD’s R9 290X launch as a spring-board to look at the 4K Gaming performance of AMD and Nvidia’s top 2 single GPU graphics cards. Of course since writing this article Nvidia have revealed their intentions to release a GTX 780 Ti graphics card which is worth considering when looking at these benchmarks. AMD are also expected to reveal an R9 290 graphics card at some stage this year too. So this is by no means a comprehensive or complete look at 4K performance on high end AMD and Nvidia GPUs, but we think it is an interesting place to start.

Firstly let’s recap the graphics cards we’re using, all four are pictured above and they are:

  • AMD R9 290X – read our review here.
  • Nvidia GTX Titan – read our review here.
  • Nvidia GTX 780 – read our review here.
  • Sapphire Vapor-X OC AMD R9 280X –  read our review here.

Next we’ve managed to get a hold of a 4K monitor for this testing as AMD were kind enough to provide us with the Sharp PN-K321 4K monitor.

The Sharp PN-K321 uses a 32 inch IGZO panel providing a resolution of 3840 x 2160. Being a first generation 4K panel it uses two 1920 x 2160 displays stitched together with an advanced display controller chip. The 4K monitor is able to stream 4K at up to 60Hz which is best done through DisplayPort.

We’ve used the usual selection of games that we’d normally do in our graphics card reviews so we’ve got a selection of 7 games and one synthetic benchmark to show you: Alien vs Predator, Bioshock Infinite, Hitman Absolution, Sleeping Dogs, Unigine Heaven 4, Tomb Raider, Dirt Showdown and Metro Last Light. Without any further ado let’s see exactly how these AMD and Nvidia GPUs got on at some 4K gaming.

Sharp Shifts Focus On Producing IGZO Panels

Sharp, the world-renowned manufacturer of quality display panels that are used across a range of devices, has announced that they will be converting their TV display manufacturing plant to increase production of energy-efficient IGZO panels for Smartphones. IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) panels are known for their excellent color reproduction, viewing angles and most of all, extreme power optimization (to the tune of 90% lesser power consumption when compared to traditional LCDs).

The screens are more energy-efficient because they don’t need to be refreshed constantly to prevent an image from flickering. Sharp says a standard amorphous silicon display may refresh itself 60 times a second when an image is on the screen, while IGZO refreshes itself only once a second. It can also pack more pixels into the displays for a higher-resolution screen.

Hopefully, after expanding production at their Kameyama plant Sharp will be able to produce enough volume to be able to supply their panels across the border as well. People will love to see next-gen flagships with IGZO panels compared to the likes of Super AMOLED and Super LCD.

Thank you NextPowerUp for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of NextPowerUp.

Sharp’s “Chop-Sync” Wants To Make A Tablet Your Chopping Board Kitchen Assistant

Engadget report that Sharp is trialling a prototype tablet-cum-chopping board device. When you think of a chopping board a tablet is hardly the first thing that comes to mind but Sharp want to change that. They’ve developed a scratch proof and water proof tablet sunk into the frame of a chopping board to act as your kitchen assistant. Not only does it act as a chopping board but it also has a recipe manager, a scale and a visualiser to help you measure out healthy serving sizes of foods.

The “Chop-Sync” invention is that of Siobhán Andrews, the winner of a competition to become a paid intern withSharp in the UK. Chop-Sync is currently only in prototype but it could be brought to market of Sharp sees enough interest in it. I’m not sure show about the usefulness of it but top marks for trying to find something new to do with tablets! It is also worth noting that Sony tried to do something similar with its Xperia Tablet Z Kitchen Edition last month, read more about that here. It looks like tablet companies are going cooking crazy, how long before it is real life Fruit Ninja?

Image courtesy of Engadget

Sharp’s First Windows 8 Tablet Has 10.1 Inch 2560 x 1600 Display

Engadget reports of Sharp unveiling its newest Windows 8 tablet at the CEATEC show in Japan. This new tablet from Sharp plays to their unique skills in developing high resolution panels and the “Mebius Pad”, as it is named, features an impressive 2560 x 1600 display. The Mebius Pad is essentially the Nexus 10 of the Windows tablet market. At 2560 x 1600 the Mebius Pad from Sharp is well ahead of most other Windows 8 tablets currently on offer – the majority of other tablets are stuck at 1080p. The Mebius Pad uses a 10.1 inch IGZO panel made by Sharp themselves and it is known for its impressive low power credentials.

The rest of the Mebius Pad is based around the latest Intel Atom Processor – the Z3370 to be precise – which is based on the Bay Trail-T family. The tablet has LTE, 3G and WiFi connectivity. The tablet will ship with Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 operating system – that’s the fully fledged version not the Windows RT version. Sharp have also made sure this device is both dust and water proof as it has passed IPX5, IPX7 and IP5X certifications. Sharp’s Mebius pad is expected to be heading towards the business market, hence the optional stylus, and the extra resolution essentially means more space for your documents and spreadsheets in Windows.

Image courtesy of Engadget

Sharp Introduce PN-K322B Touchscreen 4K 31.5 inch Monitor

Consumer 4K monitors are pretty rare right now and so far we’ve only seen the PQ321 31.5 inch 4K monitor from ASUS. Everything else that has been a 4K display is targeted at the TV market which means 30Hz operation only. Today Sharp have added to the consumer 4K monitor offering with their PN-K322B. This 4K monitor is quite unique in that it also offers touch screen functionality.

The specifications of the display are 4K-standard – 3840 by 2160 resolution with a 31.5 inch display size just like the ASUS monitor. The monitor is LED backlit while the touch interface uses 10 point touch. The profile is just over an inch thick at 36mm. The viewing angles are apparently capable of being viewed vertically but there is no specific mention of IPS. The outputs included are DisplayPort and HDMI and content is delivered by a single cable. Availability is from this autumn in the USA but there are no mentions of non-U.S availability or even pricing.

We will bring you more details as the product comes closer to launch.

Image courtesy of Sharp

Apple Drop Samsung As Their iPad Mini Display Manufacturer

Apple and Samsung’s various feuds have been far from private and have mostly been played out in the public arena. Their latest disagreement comes with Apple phasing out their business relations with Samsung. As you may or may not know currently Samsung still produce a lot of displays and processors for Apple products but this is slowly changing as Apple is picking new business partners to work with and cancelling contracts with Samsung. The latest cancellation comes with displays for the current iPad Mini and future next-generation iPad Mini.

As of the next generation of the iPad Mini, Apple will use the Taiwanese-based firm Innolux and China’s Century Display to product all their touch panels for the iPad mini. Considering how well the iPad Minis are selling this is potentially a big loss for Samsung.

Apple is looking to shift their business away from Samsung on the current iPad Mini by using the likes of LG Display, Sharp, Japan Display and AU Optronics for displays. It will be interesting to see how Samsung deals with this loss of business but at the same time it will be nice to see a wide range of smaller companies getting the opportunity to gain some business that can help them thrive and innovate and drive the display market forward.

What are your thoughts on this latest development between Samsung and Apple? Who do you think will lose out more, Samsung or Apple? Let us know your thoughts.


Samsung buys 3% stake in Sharp for a whopping $112 Million

Sharp and Samsung have done business together in the past, but after Sharp confirmed that they will receive 10.4 Billion Yen/ $112 Million from Samsung for a 3% in the company, the relationship is about to be reinvigorated. Samsung isn’t the only one who have invested in Sharp, Qualcom committed a $120 Million investment to Sharp, but they’ll need to pay half of it by end of 2012 and other half by the business year ending of March 31.

Japanese company Sharp has been struggling with the commitment to provide both their larger LCD TV panels and small to medium sized panels for mobile and tablet devices for some time now.

While Samsung will still use its supplies of LCD panels for its smartphones via its affiliate Samsung Display Co., WSJ’s blog update predicts that this move would help Sharp to reduce its dependence on Apple and even prevent the possibility of Apple getting exclusive display panels.

To those who don’t know, Sharp has been working on its IGZO (Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide) display panels which will allow much higher pixel density with less power consumption. As this technology can  beused to smartphones, tablets and such portable devices, this is the turnaround opportunity their looking for as they predict that there will be strong demand for such panels. Qualcomm also will be collaborating on IGZO and MEMS’ power-saving development for the screens. Alas, because the Japanese based display maker is still struggling with lesser production, they were reduced to making it available for few smartphones and tablets in Japan only.

Over the past 18 months, the company has tried layoffs, voluntary retirements, reducing pay and even selling their assembly factory in the effort and hopes to jump back into profitability by 2014. However, since its predicted that the company would be facing a record breaking 450 Billion Yen loss, they are taking even more aggressive moves to stay afloat.

Via: Techspot