Friday, June 6, 2014

JDI Reveals Embedded Touch Strategy

JDI’s latest “Pixel Eyes” hybrid in-cell/on-cell embedded touch is shown here in a 7-inch display with 1,200 x 1,920 pixels, which is 323 ppi. The circles on the screen (drawn as fast as possible with a 1 mm-tip passive stylus) demonstrate quite good performance, with only a couple of lost points. Photo by author.

Japan Display, Inc. (JDI) demonstrated the latest iteration of “Pixel Eyes”, its branded hybrid in-cell/on-cell embedded touch. This embedded touch architecture was first described in the Information Display article covering Touch at Display Week 2012, and then updated in the Information Display article covering Touch at Display Week 2013.

I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes with Hiroyuki Ohshima, JDI’s Chief Strategy Officer and Deputy Chief Technology Officer. During our conversation, Ohshima-san made the following comments:

·         JDI plans to stick with the hybrid in-cell/on-cell construction rather than moving to on-cell or true in-cell. Hybrid construction has high sensitivity, it works well with a fine-tipped stylus, the manufacturing process has been perfected, it can be produced with high yield, and it can be scaled easily. [This answer of “we’re sticking with what we know” is the same reason that many discrete touch-panel manufacturers give for sticking with a particular stack-up such as GFF, G1F, or GG. Once one gets good at something, there’s a lot to be said for continuing to leverage it even though other alternatives are available.]

·         JDI is definitely going to use Pixel Eyes in a 10-inch tablet. There are no technical impediments; all the engineering and manufacturing problems have been solved so it’s just a matter of business strategy. JDI is currently delaying introducing a product in order to make sure that that it has a fully differentiated solution.

·         JDI believes that it could definitely produce a 13.3-inch display with Pixel Eyes (i.e., for use in an Ultrabook), but doesn’t participate in that market and doesn’t know the market requirements. Plus, JDI also views the touch notebook market as being too small. So even though it’s technically possible, it’s unlikely that JDI will use its hybrid in-cell/on-cell embedded touch technology in displays larger than 10 inches.

·         JDI believes that ALL display makers are working on some form of embedded touch because of the revenue and profitability that it brings. While I characterized the battle between the display-makers and the touch-panel makers as a “war”, Ohshima-san wasn’t willing to go quite that far. – Geoff Walker

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