Samsung Electronics today announced that they have developed the worlds first three-inch TFT LCD with a full VGA (640 x 480) resolution designed specifically for digital cameras (most digital camera LCD monitors are QVGA; 320 x 240). To simplify the interface between the CCD live view signal and the monitor this new LCD operates at 30 Hz instead of the standard 60 Hz. Other specifications include 300 nit brightness, a 350:1 contrast ratio and a 150 degree viewing angle (left to right). Production is due to start in the first half of 2007.

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Phil: Most digital camera LCD specifications are given as a number of pixels, this is the total number of light emitting pixels, counting red, green and blue 'sub-pixels' separately. Hence modern digital camera monitors with '230,000 pixels' actually have 320 x 240 x 3 = 230,400. This new display promises 640 x 480 x 3 = 921,600 pixels.

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Press Release:

SAMSUNG Electronics Develops World's First LCD Screen of 3 inch VGA Quality for Digital Still Cameras

Seoul, Korea - August 10, 2006: Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., the world's largest provider of thin-film transistor, liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panels, announced today that it has developed the first three-inch LCD panel with VGA (640 x 480 pixels) resolution that directly meets industry interface standards for digital still cameras.

Executive Vice President Yun Jin-hyuk of Samsung Electronics said, "Our new LCD panel will make viewing of digital pictures distinctly more impressive on camera screens, personal multi-media players and other products requiring high-image resolution and low-power consumption."

Digital camera makers use an interface known as ITU-R601, an international standard for cathode ray tube (CRT) TVs that operates at 30Hz. This standard is incompatible with LCDs, which normally run at 60Hz. Manufacturers have had to reconcile the difference either by compressing the images or by manipulating the signal. However, such approaches will only work with LCDs having a resolution of qVGA(320 x 240 pixels) or less. Samsung's new LCD operates on 30Hz, allowing VGA images to be obtained from a digital camera without having to create another interface.

The three-inch VGA LCD also incorporates a dot inversion scheme that lowers power consumption while substantially reducing the image flickering that has prevented such an approach in the past. Power consumption is further reduced because the 30Hz source driver requires less power than the 60Hz type, helping to better differentiate mobile display-based products.

Samsung will exhibit its new device at IMID 2006, which opens in Daegu, Korea on August 23. Samsung will begin commercially producing the new VGA-resolution LCD panel in the first half of 2007.

3" VGA-resolution LCD for Digital Cameras specifications

Display size 3 inches
Resolution VGA (640 pixels x 480 rows)
Display type Transmissive
Brightness 300 nit
Contrast ratio 350:1
Number of Colors 260,000
Color saturation 50%
Viewing angles 45° above, 55° below, 75° left, 75° right
Power consumption 60 mW

Footnote: 1 nit = 1 candle per square meter / 0.094 foot lambert.