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Old 02-02-2007, 05:19 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Nemoptic offers prototype kit of BiNem e-paper

Here is a follow-up to our previous discussion on Nemoptic, the French company who promises to deliever a superior alternative to E Ink's e-paper. They are now offering a prototype kit of their BiNem e-paper, available for 300 Euro. The kit, dubbed BK 2301, includes a 4.8-in, 120dpi resolution black and white display mounted on an electronic board. From the press release:

Quote:
The BiNem® Display HVGA Prototyping Kit enables electronics manufacturers to test Nemoptic’s e-paper displays and to develop applications for a full-range of existing and new consumer electronic and industrial devices as well as office equipment. Potential applications include electronic shelf labels (ESL), Point-Of-Sale displays, e-books, e-newspapers, Ultra-Mobile PCs, e-dictionaries, industrial sensors, and mobile phones. Priced at the extremely competitive price of EUR 300 (approx. USD 388), the BiNem Display HVGA Prototyping Kit is currently being shipped to customers, worldwide.
If this is not enough for your display hacking aspirations, check out Nemoptic's BK 1401 evaluation kit, which includes everything you need to build your custom e-book reader device, except that at EUR 2500 it's somewhat expensive.

[via EETimes]
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Old 02-02-2007, 05:33 AM   #2
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The spec sheets reveal some interesting details (we should add them to the Wiki). From the BK1401 kit (notice the indirect comparison with E Ink, like "no flashing effect"):
  • Image Mode B&W (1bit gray scale)
  • Viewing Mode Reflective (no backlight)
  • Background Neutral white (u’=0.198, v’=0.478)
  • Contrast Ratio 7:1 (typical)
  • Reflectance 32% (typical)
  • Viewing Angle CR>2:1 at 120° (all directions)
  • Active Area (W X H) 107mm x 73mm (A7, 5.1” diagonal)
  • Pixel Pitch (W X H) 134μm x 122μm
  • Resolution 600 x 800 (200dpi, SVGA)
  • Response Time <0.65s/image at Room Temp.
  • Image Change no flashing effect
  • Power Consumpt. static: 0.36W - peak: 1.9W
  • Display: static: 0W - peak: 1.3W
  • Adressing Mode Passive
  • Multiplexing with STN drivers
  • Supply Voltage 9VDC

The BK2301 kit has some slightly different specs (such as an improved contrast ratio, but also smaller resolution and worse response time):
  • Image Mode B&W (1bit gray scale)
  • Viewing Mode Reflective (no backlight)
  • Background Neutral white
  • Contrast Ratio 10:1 (typical)
  • Reflectance 31% (typical)
  • Viewing Angle CR>2:1 at 120° (all directions)
  • Active Area (W x H) 104.15 x 62.7mm (4.8” diag.)
  • Pixel Pitch (W X H) 217μm x 196μm
  • Resolution 320 x 480 (120dpi, HVGA)
  • Partial Refreshing/ Yes (1 Dimension)
  • Response Time 0.5 to 2s/image at Room Temp.
  • Image Change no flashing effect
  • Operating range 5°C to 40°C
  • Storage -20°C to 60°C
  • Addressing Mode Passive
  • Multiplexing with STN drivers
  • Power Consumption static: 0W - peak: 1.4W
  • Supply Voltage 3.3V
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:27 AM   #3
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Too bad you can't hook up the screen to your Reader or Iliad and observe a difference. Silly statement, since I know things don't work that way, but it would still be nice to do a direct side-by-side with the only thing changed being the screen.

Okie-doke... go ahead, I have my asbestos undies on ;P
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:03 AM   #4
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Plugging it to a computer would be better.

I can't believe how big that board is. Readers have less functions than PDAs. Would it be logical to make them smaller?
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Old 02-02-2007, 09:54 AM   #5
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120 dpi is ok, but a 1 bit display seems a little underwhelming. The Bk 1401 has 200dpi but still 1 bit B&W, and if the development kit is any indication, may be too expensive to use in a reader anyway.

I would assume the final production boards would be smaller, Yvan.
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Old 02-02-2007, 10:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami

I would assume the final production boards would be smaller, Yvan.
I'm not quite sure of that. It looks relative to the size of the ughly box we saw in the other thread.
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Old 02-02-2007, 12:29 PM   #7
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Ah, that's better: a higher-rez (1328X2645) version of the pic is available here.

I'm thinking I agree with nekokami's assumption that the board is so huge because it's for prototyping. I can see what looks like a speaker, a couple of 9-pin D serial ports, several switches and micro-buttons, a good sized pot' or two, some rather large caps, a couple of other connections, a piggy-back board -- in short: a bunch of bulky, discrete components that I'd expect to be removed altogether or replaced with more 'integrated' components on any production, um product.

Anyway you want stuff to be bigger for prototyping, it makes it easier to adjust the design, and repair things when you slag components.
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami
120 dpi is ok, but a 1 bit display seems a little underwhelming. The Bk 1401 has 200dpi but still 1 bit B&W, and if the development kit is any indication, may be too expensive to use in a reader anyway.
The E Ink prototype kit would cost you even USD $3000...

http://eink.com/kits/index.html
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Old 02-02-2007, 06:38 PM   #9
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Heh, the price for the more elaborate Nemoptic kit is in EUR, TadW, so it's about 3,240 USD (at the current exchange rates, anyway).
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Old 02-03-2007, 09:36 AM   #10
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Has anyone bought Nemoptic phototype kit and compare that with the Eink panel?
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nekokami
120 dpi is ok, but a 1 bit display seems a little underwhelming. The Bk 1401 has 200dpi but still 1 bit B&W, and if the development kit is any indication, may be too expensive to use in a reader anyway.

I would assume the final production boards would be smaller, Yvan.
The development kit is expensive because it comes with some support.
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Old 02-03-2007, 07:46 PM   #12
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Over here they're saying 400dpi: http://dev.nemoptic.com/content.php?...lications&id=4

If they can do 400dpi B/W then someone could easily use that to do 16 level grey 200 PPI images with some very sharp and smooth anti-aliased glyphs...
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Old 02-04-2007, 08:19 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
Heh, the price for the more elaborate Nemoptic kit is in EUR, TadW, so it's about 3,240 USD (at the current exchange rates, anyway).
Didn't know how much the $ depreciated compared to the EUR these days. Wow! Still, prices are similar and none of the two kits is exactly cheap
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