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Old 06-01-2009, 03:50 PM   #1
Ralph Sir Edward
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I'm late for the next session, but I'll have some notes this evening. I'm in the back, so pictures aren't worth the bother. Nate, teh exhibition floor is not open yet.


Notes this evening....

RSE
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:23 PM   #2
Ralph Sir Edward
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Y'all go to fix this sign-on....I just wrote a long post, and my log on timed out. When I sign on, i miskeyed my sign-on. After that when you sign on a second time, the post is lost...ARRGH...
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:39 PM   #3
Ralph Sir Edward
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Notes from day one. - Second pass.

Mary Lou Jepson of Pixel Qui gave a speech similar to the one bookmarked on a different thread here. Here's the new info. The screens have been sucessfully sampled of of two different fab lines, with production capability now assured. Mass production is expected in the third quarter. The first panels will be 10.2 inch panels, designed to be a drop-in replacecment for the existing LCD screen on 10" netbooks. She was asked about the e-reader requirements. Her response was that displays for e-readers were known to need 200 DPI for optimum legtibility, and nobody in the world had any interest in making such a specialized screen.

She noted that getting funding was very difficult, she was the only tier 1 startup in the 1st qtr of 2008 to be funded, period. Usually there are at least 30-40 a quarter..

One of the main reasons for changes being so slow in the screen world is the business model. The design is usually being done by a company that doesn't plan to have manufacturing. (Note, E-Ink was an oddity in that they planned to produce a product from the beginning.) Once you have a design, you have to convince a manufacturing compant with a production line to actually produce the new screen. When you are talking about retooling a 2-4 Billion (yes, BILLION) dollar Fab line, there is great resistance to doing the retooling. In addition, no one has gone through the production debugging necessary to do mass production. A very hard sell indeed. Pixel Qui was very lucky in that, 1. the OLPC had already done much of the production debugging for the screen as part of making the million units of the first OLPC device. and 2. There's a hard recession in the display business, with Fabs being shut down right and left due to lack of demand. That cause several Fabs to "take a flyer" on a limitedly proven design. The stars have all lined up, so it looks like this form of screen will become a reality.

To get an idea of the volume from these Fabs... In 2008, the average production of LCD panels amounted to 800 football (soccer) fields worth of LCDs - per month....

Meanwhile, back at the ranch.....A competitor to E-ink was making noises. Liquavista, has been around for a while, promising a electrowetting screen product that I believe is also bi-stable, i.e. takes no power like E-Ink when you're not changing the screen, with a 10 millisecond refresh rate. They were claiming that their initial screen would also allow the showing of black and white video as well, with color coming soon. They claimed that they would have 3 different products available for OEM purchase before the end of the year. Whether this is hope, hype, or happening I'll leave to your own evaluation.

On the non-ebook reader front, OLED is still fighting blue color durability problems, but the demos at Samsung were amazing.... Saw various pico projectors from various OEMs. (Pico Projector - think of a laser pointer that show a movie. They're a little bigger, but not much...) They are all dim (10-15 lumens output), and pretty much alike. The RGB laser ones have speckle problems, I wouldn't buy one, and the FHLCOS based one looked the best (but it won't be on the market for 3-6 months)

Times are hard, and only 60% percent of the people that usually go to the conference showed up. The swag was virtually non-existant. (Nate, there was no Plastic Logic exhibition.) E-Ink was in shock on the floor, and IRex didn't tell me anything, although they recognized MobileRead's name.
I got my BEBook reader laser etched on the back for free, but it wasn't worth the bother, as you can barely see it. But when I took the book out to be engraved, I had a half a dozen exhibition worker materialize so see me do a demo of OpenInkpot. They were favorable impressed... I got a rewriteable protable notepad for free, more on that in another thread later. the only other swag I got was a squezee little cowboy boot.

By the end, my feet were sore, my legs ached, and my backside was sore from sitting all day in a hard chain. I had a grand time....
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