Sharp Develops Free-Form LCD Panel Called ‘Free-Form Display’

free-form LCD panel

The Free-Form Display prototype, here designed for a car’s dashboard.

Sharp Corporation has developed what it’s calling the Free-Form Display, a revolutionary advance over conventional rectangular LCD displays, and which enables designers to create new, free-form LCD display shapes for various different applications, such as the dashboard of a car.

While Sharp has been designing displays that feature slimmer profiles, lighter weights, and thinner bezels, it explains that conventional displays are rectangular because they 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. However, with Free-Form Display, the gate driver’s function is dispersed throughout the pixels on the display area. This allows the bezel to be shrunk considerably, and enables designers to shape the LCD panel to match whatever shape the display area of the screen needs to be.

For in-vehicle applications, for example, this development makes it possible to have a single instrument panel on the car dashboard that combines a speedometer and other monitors. Sharp says other possibilities for Free-Form Display include wearable devices with elliptical displays, digital signage, and other large displays – and, we speculate, perhaps eventually free-form LCD displays for its copier/MFPs.

Sharp says it plans to enter the mass-production stage for its Free-Form Display “at the earliest possible date.”


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