Mary Lou Jepsen, CTO of OLPC, wants a 2 watt flat panel display that will cost $35. Current LCDs sip about 20 watts according to Jepsen. The display has to be sunlight readable. Translation: The display must be trans-reflective requiring reflective qualities in addition to a built-in light source. She also wants the OLPC laptop to be more power than the average $2000 portable.
I’m not sure Jepsen completely understands the current limitations the way democratic capital markets work. A transflective or dual-mode display that is innovative, ultra-power-efficient sipping only 10% of current systems, has a pixel format that is unique in black and white mode and finally a display that is $35 is impossible today.
Currently, the display is dual mode: a 640 x 480 color that is transmissive and a 1110 x 830 black and white that is reflective. I am not sure how this works, but it is indeed novel. TTL signal processing is used instead of the faster LVDS because at 640 x 480, TTL is good enough. Color filters are either eliminated or limited in their use according to EETimes. I am not sure how color filters can be eliminated unless such technologies as field sequential systems are incorporated, which will add to the cost of the display. Also, using e-Ink-like bi-stable systems will also be a cost adder since the economies of scale have not reached to a point where dramatic cost reductions are possible.
OLPC, a great idea, but the CTO needs to take in a dose of reality.