NEC is to demonstrate new electronic paper (e-paper) displays at the FPD International exhibition in Japan tomorrow that are said to offer higher visibility than newspapers.

The screens were developed by its NEC LCD Technologies subsidiary and are the equivalent size to A3 (297mm by 420mm) and A4 (210mm by 297mm) sheets of paper, NEC said.

Based on the microcapsule electrophoresis system developed by US-company E-Ink, the screens include an NEC-developed TFT active matrix that allows for a 16-step grey scale rather than just monochrome.

Electronic paper is often lauded for its high contrast that makes it appear close to that of real paper. It also boasts low power consumption because electricity is only required when the screen is refreshed and the image changed. At other times the image remains without power being required.

Under development for many years, the technology is now being used in commercially available displays such as those in Amazon's Kindle e-book reader, Motorola's F3 smartphone and numerous in-store advertising displays. Most recently the technology gained attention when it was integrated into the cover of an issue of 'Vanity Fair' magazine in the US.

FPD International will be held from Wednesday to Friday at the Pacifico Yokohama exhibition centre in Yokohama, Japan.

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