Apple TV
Concept design for an Apple iTV showing an interface like Apple TV.

According to IDG News, Sharp has revealed it has begun mass production of high pixel density IGZO (Indium gallium zinc oxide) LCD panels - a type of semiconductor which promotes smaller-sized pixels on displays and thus results in higher pixel density.

In addition to increasing the pixels per inch (ppi) count, IGZO displays are known to consume less energy, making it an ideal choice for forthcoming tablets and mobile phones, according to Sharp.

"The new technology allows for twice the detail of existing panels at the same transparency, which means high-resolution devices can be designed that require less power and space for backlighting. The company said the new displays cut power consumption by up to 90 percent versus those currently in use," said Sharp, according to MacRumors.

"Less lighting and smaller battery requirements allow for thinner devices, and analysts have said Apple will use IGZO displays in its upcoming products, including its highly-anticipated entry into the smart TV market," added the display maker.

As part of its press release, Sharp cites several examples of variable size displays being manufactured using IGZO semiconductor materials. The list includes 7in tablet screens running at 1,280 x 800 pixels resolution (217ppi), 10in notebook screens featuring 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution (300ppi) and 32in LCD monitor screens boasting 3,840 x 2,160 pixels resolution (140ppi). 

The displays are presently under production at Sharp's Kameyama plant in Japan, which was earlier used for making LCD panels for televisions. Realising the increasing demand for portable displays, the company revamped the plant to capitalise on the growing smartphone and tablet market.

Apple's interest in IGZO technology dates back to late last year. Somehow, the implementation of the new display technology did not materialise with the new iPad. So, the Cupertino tech giant is keen to debut the new technology on its television set. Apple has reportedly invested over £752 million ($1.2bn) for this cause in one of Sharp's facilities in China.

Sharp will encourage the application of its new high-resolution LCD panels to high-definition notebook PCs and LCD monitors - which are both expected to grow in demand - as well as to mobile devices. The display maker will also contribute to creating markets for attractive new products, according to company's press release.

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