Sharp Unveils Free-Form IGZO Display. Say Goodbye to Rectangular Dash Screens

Sharp Free-Form Display 4 photos
Photo: Sharp
Sharp Free-Form DisplaySharp Free-Form DisplaySharp Free-Form Display
Sharp, one of the largest electronic displays manufacturers, is on its way to revolutionize the way a screen looks and fits within a certain place with its new free-form IGZO display. Prepare for the anti-square rebellion.
Your retinas are bombarded each day with information from displays, which all happen to be rectangular. But have you ever wondered why all screens have this form?

The explanation is quite simple - all displays require a minimal width for the bezel in order to accommodate the drive circuit, called the gate driver, around the perimeter of the screen's display area. Being rectangular makes it easier to keep things organized and it also helps a lot with mapping the active surface for capacitive touchscreens.

No one said square-ish displays are bad, but their shape kinda limits their usefulness in some applications. Take the interior of some cars for example: a lot of flowing lines and curved surfaces everywhere, but then comes that big slab on the middle of the dash to ruin the aesthetics.

And here comes Sharp with its brand new technology, that basically allows displays to be constructed in any shape you wish. With their Free-Form Display, the gate driver’s function is basically dispersed throughout the pixels on the screen. A considerably smaller bezel comes as a bonus.

The new display type uses Sharp’s IGZO technology, based on transparent crystalline oxide semiconductors, the name being derived from indium gallium zinc oxide. Each pixel on the display is controlled by its own transistor, which has some cool advantages, like faster moving electrons, smaller transistors and even more smaller pixels.

For in-car applications, the new tech will allow for a single instrument panel that can combine various shapes, like reuniting a three-gauge panel into a single customizable display. The center console infotainment screen can also be modeled to integrate with the rest of the dashboard’s design and can also surround knobs, buttons and vents.

The Free-Form Display won’t just change the way your car informs you in a neater way, but will also have an impact on new gadgets such as wearable devices with elliptical displays and digital signage along with really curved monitors that will better fill your field of vision.

Sharp’s new technology is currently in its prototype phase, but the tech giant says it’s hurrying the project towards production as fast as it can.
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