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IBM Demonstrates Highest Resolution Color LCD Panel Available, Accelerating Sales of LCDs to OEM Customers

TOKYO - 10 Nov 1999: . . . The IBM Technology Group today stepped up its plans to become a major supplier of liquid crystal displays by announcing the industry's highest resolution, production-level LCD monitor panel available.

The new ITQX20 high-definition thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT-LCD) panel is the industry's first commercially-available 20.8 inch TFT display that combines the highest resolution available in a production-level monitor panel with a large image size and superb image quality. Each of the display's nine million transistors acts as an individual switch for three million picture elements, or pixels, resulting in QXGA (2048 x 1536) resolution at 123 pixels per inch.

"We are leveraging breakthroughs from IBM research labs to sustain leadership in LCD technology," said Kevin Reardon, director of strategy, IBM Technology Group. "As display resolution increases, LCDs are quickly gaining momentum as a superior alternative to CRTs."

IBM's next-generation active matrix screens can display images with extremely high clarity and detail, making them well-suited for graphics-intensive applications, while reducing eye strain. IBM also manufactures panels with SXGA+ (1400 x 1050) and SXGA (1280 x 1024) resolution.

Compared to IBM's 18.1 inch panel, the new IBM ITQX20 panel offers 2.4 times as many pixels packaged into a 30% larger viewable image size, enabling it to display two A4-size images on the screen simultaneously. IBM "Pearl-less" technology replaces the glass spacer balls traditionally used in LCD modules with a permanent spacer, providing a more rigid panel construction, improved picture quality and better contrast. The new panel also features a mechanical package with minimum-size borders, offering OEM customers flexibility in designing and manufacturing finished monitor products. IBM expects its OEM customers to incorporate the ITQX20 panel into products for medical, electronic publishing, drafting, image processing, media content creation, data visualization and financial applications, such as trading floors.

The new panel is the result of breakthrough research on high-resolution displays conducted at IBM research labs in Yorktown Heights, New York. Last year, IBM announced a prototype display, code-named Roentgen after the pioneer of X-rays -- with 200 pixels per inch resolution that is virtually indistinguishable from the printed page. IBM recently announced exploratory research on the first "flexible" transistors using hybrid organic-inorganic semiconducting materials, creating the possibility of inexpensive flexible or curved displays on plastic, glass, and other materials.

The attributes of LCDs -- compactness, light weight, small footprint, lower power consumption and reduced electrical and magnetic interference -- are driving interest in TFT LCDs as a replacement for conventional CRT displays. High resolution LCDs are being incorporated in an increasingly wide range of applications, from engineering and medical equipment, nursing stations, engineering workstations, trading systems and even the International Space Station.

Later this month, the new IBM ITQX20 panel will be demonstrated at the Fall Comdex show in Las Vegas, Nevada and the RSNA (Radiologist Society of North America) show in Chicago.

The IBM Technology Group, a major supplier of components to computer makers, has announced $30 billion in OEM deals in 1999. IBM is one of the world's largest manufacturers of hard drives, liquid crystal displays, tape storage systems and semiconductors.

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James Sciales

Christoph von Gamm

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