Sharp starts producing in-cell type touch displays for even thinner smartphones

Sharp has begun mass production of a new kind of display that will lead to even thinner and lighter smartphones.

The Japanese manufacturer is a major player in the smartphone component business. It developed the displays for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

That’s why when it starts mass producing a new kind of screen, we tend to sit up and take notice. Sharp has done just that with its new in-cell type touch displays, which have gone into full production as of this month.

Most smartphone displays have an LCD layer with a touch sensor attached. Sharp’s new technology integrates that touch sensor right into the display.

The result is a significantly thinner and lighter components – hence the potential for a thinner and lighter smartphone. Alternatively, it could provide space for a bigger battery. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Besides this smartphone form factor, Sharp has also announced that it’s developing the in-cell type touch technology for medium-sized displays. Think tablets and notebook PCs.

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Sharp reckons that this larger form factor will also make better use of its existing IGZO technology, which opens up the possibility of much higher resolutions with a minimal impact on battery life.

IGZO stands for Indium gallium zinc oxide, which is a special semiconducting material that Sharp applies to the thin film that drives the displays. It facilitates an improved flow of electrons, which improves energy efficiency and allows for smaller pixels.