Ultra high-definition is the new rage in the TV stratosphere. Toshiba, Sony, and LG have already launched their salvo of 4K panels here this year. Now, another contender has joined the 4K fray with its own LCD variant to show. Enter Taiwanese panel maker, AU Optronics (AUO), who unveiled a spanking new 65-inch Ultra HD LCD TV panel recently that's quite unlike the current fleet of UHD TVs. Essentially, the 4K's LCD display is based on the indium gallium zinc oxide (IGZO) semiconducting material instead of the more commonly used low temperature poly silicon (LTPS) substrate.
One of the advantages of IGZO over LTPS is that it's considerably less expensive to manufacture. In addition, IGZO panels reportedly have a "superior light transmittance and thinner body", which suggests direct or full-array LED backlighting is no longer essential to achieve a uniform level of brightness. Viewing angles can be improved as well should IGZO be used in conjunction with in-plane switching (IPS) LCD panels. The official press release by AUO adds that an IGZO TFT-based panel offers a finer 4K by 2K resolution and deeper image depths for stereoscopic pictures, due to the "increase in electron mobility". Like the current lot of 4K TVs, AUO's latest UHD offering will feature a native resolution of 3,840 by 2,160 pixels as well.
The Taiwanese firm is known to supply LCD panels to major television brands like Samsung, Sony, Philips, and Toshiba. And it shouldn't come as a surprise should the big boys decide to adopt AUO's latest IGZO TFT LCD technology in the near future. With reduced production costs and better picture performances, IGZO appears to be a win-win solution for both manufacturers and consumers, at least where 4K TVs are concerned.
Besides the 65-inch 4K panel, AUO also unveiled a 50-inch Full-HD Super Narrow Bezel FIM (Fully Integrated Module) display which uses the company's proprietary gate driver on array (GOA) technology to reduce the panel's bezel width to a mere 3.5mm.