Beyond the basic breakdown of the major display types used in mobile devices into either LCD or OLED components, we’ve seen manufacturers come up with dozens of different ways to implement these technologies over the years, hoping to help out with things like color reproduction and improving display angles. Samsung acquired a company last year with a whole different kind of display technology, crossing the benefits of an LCD with the power savings of an electronic ink display, as found on e-readers. Supposedly, Samsung will finally be ready to start cranking out these new electrowetting displays in quantity, starting in 2013.
Like an electronic ink screen, electrowetting displays, or EWDs, work with pre-colored dyes. The difference is in how EWD pulls this off, using a variable charge to modify the surface tension of tiny drops of fluid. Using different colored dyes, and with proper display design, full-color images can be reproduced.
It’s too early to say what kind of an impact EWDs might have on smartphones and tablets, but if Samsung is able to produce them cheaply enough, the power savings turn out to be significant over LCDs and OLEDs, and refresh rates are fast enough to avoid ghosting, and we might have something interesting right here.