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E Ink

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E Ink

Scheme of the E Ink technology.
Legend Item
1 Upper layer
2 Transparent electrode layer
3 Transparent micro-capsules
4 Positively charged white pigments
5 Negatively charged black pigments
6 Transparent oil
7 Electrode pixel layer
8 Bottom supporting layer
9 Light
10 White
11 Black

E Ink (electrophoretic ink) is a specific proprietary type of electronic paper manufactured by E Ink Corporation, founded in 1997 based on research started at the MIT Media Lab. Joseph Jacobson and Barrett Comiskey are listed as inventors on the original patent filed in 1996.[1]

It is currently available commercially in grayscale and color[2] and is commonly used in mobile devices such as e-readers and, to a lesser extent, mobile phones and watches.

Corporate history

On June 1, 2009, E Ink Corp. announced an agreement to be purchased by one of its primary business partners, Prime View Int'l Co. Ltd (元太科技工業), for US$215 million.[3] However, from June to December 2009, the purchase price was re-negotiated and E Ink was finally officially acquired on Dec. 24, 2009 for $450 million. The purchase by this Taiwanese company has put the production of the E Ink EPD on a larger scale than before, as Prime View also owns BOE Hydis Technology Co. Ltd (京东方海帝士科技) and maintains a strategic partner relationship with Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp., which is now Chimei InnoLux Corporation (奇美電子), part of the Hon Hai-Foxconn Group (鴻海富士康集團). Foxconn is the sole ODM partner for Prime View's Netronix Inc. (振曜科技), the supplier of E Ink panel e-readers for rebranding - the end-user products may appear with any of several brands, e.g., Bookeen, COOL-ER, PocketBook, etc.

In December 2012, E Ink acquired SiPix,[4][5] a rival electrophoretic display company.

Technology

iLiad e-book reader equipped with an e-paper display visible in the sunlight

The material is processed into a film for integration into electronic displays, particularly for e-readers. The Motorola F3 was the first mobile phone to employ E Ink technology into its display, taking advantage of the material's ultra-low power consumption. In addition, the Samsung Alias 2 uses this technology as the display on the buttons change.[6] The October 2008 limited edition North American issue of Esquire was the first magazine cover to integrate E Ink and featured flashing text. The cover was manufactured in Shanghai, China, was shipped refrigerated to the United States for binding and was powered by a nominal 90-day integrated battery supply.[7][8]

E Ink Vizplex

E Ink Vizplex is the internal name of E Ink's display technologies.[9] Each version/model of Vizplex technology is marketed under different brand names, as detailed below. Vizplex is sometimes used to refer to specifically the first generation of the line, in order to distinguish it from further generations, though properly speaking, Pearl and Triton are also types of Vizplex displays, as indicated by the text "E Ink Vizplex" at the bottom of startup screens for those displays.

E Ink Pearl

Macro photograph of Kindle 3 screen, focused just below the surface; microcapsules are clearly visible at full size

E Ink Pearl, announced on July 31, 2010, is the second generation of E Ink Vizplex displays, a higher contrast screen built with E Ink Pearl Imaging Film.[10] The updated Amazon Kindle DX was the first device announced to use the screen, and the Kindle 3, Kindle 4, and Kindle Touch also incorporate the Pearl display.[11][12] Sony has also included this technology into its latest release of the Sony Reader Touch edition.[13] This display is also used in the Nook Simple Touch,[14] Kobo eReader Touch,[15] Kobo Glo, Onyx Boox M90,[16] X61S[17] and Pocketbook Touch.[18]

E Ink Mobius

E Ink Mobius (E-ink Flex) is the next modification of E-ink Pearl. It does not have one of the main disadvantages of the first two models of E-ink displays: substrate made of very thin glass. E-ink Vizplex and E-ink Pearl have very fragile screens which can be broken easily. Substrate of E-ink Mobius is made of flexible plastic. It can not be broken by little flexes and hits.[19] A4 sized E ink Mobius devices are the most expensive of e-readers.[20] These include Sony Digital Paper DPT-S1[21] and Pocketbook CAD Reader Flex.[20]

E Ink Triton

E Ink Triton announced on November 9, 2010 the third generation of E Ink Vizplex displays: a color display that is easy to read in high light. The Triton is able to display 16 shades of gray, and 4096 colors.[22] E Ink Triton is being used in commercially available products such as the Hanvon color e-reader,[23] JetBook Color made by ectaco and PocketBook Color Lux made by PocketBook.

E Ink Triton 2 is the next generation of E Ink color. The first e-readers featuring it started to appear in 2013. They include Ectaco Jetbook Color 2 and Pocketbook Color Lux.[24][25]

E Ink Carta

In January 2013, at the International CES, it was announced that the fourth generation of E Ink devices features 768 by 1024 resolution on 6-inch displays, with 212 ppi (Pixel density).[26] It was named Carta and is used in the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 1st (2012) and 2nd generation (2013). A further revision was named Carta HD with 300 ppi and is used in the Kindle Voyage (2014), Kindle Paperwhite 3rd generation (2015), in the Deutsche Telekom Tolino Vision (2014), the Kobo eReader Aura H2O (2014), Kobo Glo HD (2015)[27] and in the Pocketbook Touch Lux 3 (2015).[28] and in the Cybook Muse Frontlight.

See also

References

  1. ^ US filing date 25-Oct-1996 5930026, Joseph Jacobson, Barrett Comiskey, "Nonemissive displays and piezoelectric power supplies therefor" 
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Motofone Makes Its Global Debut Introducing Stylish Connectivity For Everyone
  7. ^
  8. ^ Esquire's E-Ink Cover, Esquire.com website, September 8, 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-23.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^ a b
  21. ^
  22. ^ http://www.eink.com/Triton_Press_Release_Final.pdf
  23. ^
  24. ^ Michael Kozlowski (2013) Hands on with E-Ink Triton 2 and Prototype Front Lite Technology at goodereader.com
  25. ^ Review of the Pocketbook Color Lux eReader Michael Kozlowski (2013), Goodereader.com
  26. ^ E Ink's future foretold at CES: Next-gen will be high-res, support color (video)
  27. ^
  28. ^

External links

  • Official Site of E Ink Corporation
  • Howstuffworks review on Electronic Ink
  • ZDNet Definition for: E Ink (includes illustrations and product photos)
  • Epson and E Ink developing 2400x1650 pixel display.
  • Interview with Russ Wilcox, E Ink co-founder, vice-president and (from 2003 to 2010) CEO. 89 minutes.
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