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The World's Smallest Full HD Display 243

An anonymous reader writes "Ever heard of Ortustech? Probably not. But you have heard of Casio, right? Ortustech is a joint venture between Casio Computer and Toppan Printing to develop small and medium sized displays. Today, the company is announcing a doozy with its 4.8-inch 1920 x 1080 pixel HAST (Hyper Amorphous Silicon TFT) LCD with 160-degree viewing angle, 16.8 million colors, and a pixel density of 458ppi. Amazing when you compare that to the lauded 326ppi of iPhone 4's Retina display."
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The World's Smallest Full HD Display

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  • "the iPhone 4s infamous Retina display packs in 326 pixels"

    Why INfamous ? Can we mod the TFA as Troll or Flamebait ? :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      "the iPhone 4s infamous Retina display packs in 326 pixels"

      Why INfamous ? Can we mod the TFA as Troll or Flamebait ? :)

      Assuming you're not joking, I will reply and request a -1 Offtopic for myself rather than for you.

      The use of a single subjective word is not trolling or flaming. It's just a poor choice of words and can happen to anyone.
      If however the whole purpose of the sentence is to misinform, to be off-topic (like me in this post!) or to insult, then it can be called trolling or flaming.
      Now, TFA has a lot of very objective information, and its goal seems to inform us.

      On topic again: when would a display be "good enough

      • That depends on how far away the display is from the eye. If you want something that is held at arms length the iPhone's display is probably already to that point, though there may be a subjective difference by going higher it isn't likely to matter much. If you want something that could be mounted on a pair of glasses however, you've still got a ways to go. I wonder what the minimum comfortable focus length is a single eye...

        • Could we say that, within certain limits for distance from the eye, there is a maximum amount of pixels that we can see, and that from that point on, any increase will not be noticed?

          Certainly, the limit is reached once the atual wavelength of the light starts to play a role (once a pixel is just a photon, or something along those lines).

      • Long time ago I read eye can resolute at no more than 0.02 to 0.03 deg, that means at 30 cm, u need to have pixels no bigger than approx 90 micron (if I calculated it correctly for the lower range), this includes the padding between the pixels. At 30cm, that is already achievable, its 282 ppi. Less than iPhone 4's and this new displays ppi.

      • by Surt ( 22457 )

        We're not even close, thanks to the eye's variable focus. Think 20x off in x & y, for a combined 400X, and that's still probably not quite there for a few people with really good eyes. But for a more realistic 'when will no one practically be able to tell the difference', we are probably only 4x off in each dimension.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Gilmoure ( 18428 )

      Infamous is when you're more than famous!

      -- Ned Nederlander

  • Too small.... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bernywork ( 57298 ) <> on Monday October 25, 2010 @08:54AM (#34010826) Journal

    4.8" ?? How about giving me 24" or 32" at the same res?

    FFS, for so long now we haven't been going up in DPI on screens. We just got to a certain point and after that we just went "OOoohhh HD" or basically, "OOOhhhh shiny!"

    WTF happened?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I'd like to have them smaller, in a 3" size, for use in VR glasses. Most current VR headsets go up to 640x480, higher resolutions are horribly expensive.
    • Re:Too small.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Monday October 25, 2010 @09:29AM (#34011198) Journal

      It's the data rate that's a problem.

      Let's imagine 458dpi on a relatively "modest" screen that's 20in by 11.7in. That makes a display resolution of 9160 by 5358.

      To update that screen at 60 frames per second would require a data rate of 6.9 *terabits* per second to the actual panel. Now you can say, "compress the data before sending it to the screen", but that would just increase the processing power needed, and at the end of the day, something still has to feed the raw panel the data at 6.9 terabits per second.

      Big screens aren't getting higher DPI because (a) it's not needed (generally, you're looking at a big screen from a few feet away, and 100 dpi is more than enough) and (b) it would be fantastically expensive to do it and (c) no one has developed a standard to shift data from the computer to the display at the kinds of data rates that would be required to drive such a display.

      • by macraig ( 621737 )

        This is THE most intelligent response to this complaint that I've ever read. Mod this post up to +6, please.

      • Other problems that occur are simple wiring/connection problems. You'd need to connect 9000 horizontal and 5000 vertical channels. And then manage to synchronize the inner pixels between them by sending the right waveforms in the channels. Just that would be a huge task, requiring a very careful planning of circuitry, and combined with the amount of data you mentioned, a very complex mathematical and physical task. Another problem I'd see with this is power, all those circuits would probably consum a ton of
      • by LeDopore ( 898286 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @10:16AM (#34011658) Homepage Journal


        9160 * 5358 * 60 * 24 = 70410355200

        That's 70,410,355,200 with commas, about 70 Gb/s (8 GB/s). That's about one order of magnitude faster than the current HDMI spec. It's technically feasible now, and will be easy to do in about 4 years.

        By then, many digital cameras will have many tens of megapixels, so the resolution of the screen won't be unused.

        What kind of applications would benefit from such uber-high def? One idea: I'm looking forward to the day we will be able to use commodity cameras and displays to get digital microscopy good enough to replace having to stare down an eyepiece. Imaging also being able to show other scientists what you're doing without having to switch seats, refocus, etc. Bring it on.

        (And no, current HD is about 2-3 times too rough to do the really fine observations I need on a daily basis.)

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          I don't think anyone's really asking for even that. How about a 30" display with a res of 3840x2160, that would give it a dot pitch of 0.173 or slightly less than 147 dpi. That's not unreasonable and is within reach of dual DVI-D graphics card.
        • Why would digital cameras have tens of megapixels? We've pretty much plateaued for megapixel counts on digital cameras for a few years now. There is a point where you get diminishing returns for more pixels, and you're better served by better sensors instead of more pixels.

          Current "HD" isn't really high-definition except when you're talking about video. For everything else computers do, it's relatively low resolution as far as history is concerned.

          • Why would digital cameras have tens of megapixels?

            Why doesn't really matter in terms of the prediction, since its accuracy doesn't depend on the reason, and the fact that digital cameras already have tens of megapixels means that the prediction is pretty conservative. Even in high-end consumer models they're already pushing 20 megapixels (The Canon Rebel T2i has 18 megapixels.) And, of course, pro gear goes even higher; the Leica S2 has 37.5MP and I think there are some models with even higher pixel counts.

      • 292 Gbit/s for a 1920x1080 display.

        LVDS can't do it. You would need HyperTransport 3 or PCI Express. I got that from here: []

      • by Surt ( 22457 )

        That's only 11X the resolution and framerate we've been able to feed for more than a decade. Seems like we should be able to manage it.

      • How did you do your math on that one?

        Why not just do what people do with video walls and just break it up into sections, didn't Matrox do something like this a while ago?

        • Seems like it would make sense -- have 2 or 4 video inputs on the display and treat the single monitor as if it were four smaller devices.

          I'm sure there might be some alignment issues (solvable in software), but perhaps there might be timing issues that would be annoying with video or animation, especially when overlap occurs.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by clone53421 ( 1310749 )

        At some point, wouldn’t it make sense to use a vector-based format to define the contents of rectangular “pixels”? For images that were already pixel-based you could just send a simple rectangle or maybe use a gradient to smooth out the corners, but for vector-based shapes (e.g. fonts) you could get an ultra-smooth laser-print-quality rendering by sending the mathematical curve to display.

        In other words, just like pixels are currently made up of red/green/blue sub-pixels, these pixels woul

      • Ok, so basically, you're not knocking 2160p or 4320p, which are on the horizon.

        But compression is a cheat. All you get are shinier artifacts.

        HD is a half-lie. Nice resolution if your cable company bothers to deliver a signal that has a modest data rate and doesn't pixellate when the scene changes or their translation engines decide to have a decaf latte.

        Satellite is marginally better, if the box doesn't puke all over your screen.

        Over-the-air is usually better than all of the above. I may buy an decent an

      • by cynyr ( 703126 )

        To make the math easier, lets assume a 16x9 display of 7680x4320. Now make each set of 4 pixels a "macro pixel" that gives you 1920x1080 virtual pixels. At which point mostly normal AA and sub pixel hinting can be used on the macro pixel with no need to send the display the full picture, currently. Once some sort of link is created it would then be easy to offer up a 4 fold increase in resolution without needing to do much other than a connector and some software.

        Do you have a display that can show a 1:1 DS

    • Re:Too small.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by SWPadnos ( 191329 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @09:47AM (#34011366)

      IBM made a much higher resolution display in 2001: []

      This is a 22", 3840x2400 display. I still wonder why that kind of technology never caught on. I know the IBM displays (and the Viewsonics) were expensive, starting at $17000 or so (the VS was "only" $9000 new), but I had hoped that there might be economies of scale eventually. Sadly, these panels haven't been manufactured for about 5 years. Every once in a while there's a rumor that someone is making a new model, but it never seems to happen.

      I'm also wondering just what happened for (almost) everyone to decide that 1080 is enough vertical pixels.

      • >>>I'm also wondering just what happened for (almost) everyone to decide that 1080 is enough vertical pixels.

        Because 1080i or 1080p is the standard used by ATSC and DVB and ISDB television broadcasts, and no one feels like going through yet another 10-20 year transition for higher resolutions. BTW the 1080 originally came from Japan's 1980s analog MUSE system, so you can blame them. ;-)

        There might be need for high resolutions for CAD or CGI development, but you won't find those screens in Best Buy

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by epine ( 68316 )

        Nice. That's what you need to have small fonts that scale smoothly without blotchy in-betweens. I don't much like squinting at small, fuzzy fonts. If 150 DPI is visually acceptable, why have I not seen a 150 DPI laser printer since the early 1990s? I suspect on the screen with some good AA that 200 DPI would permit smooth scaling of smaller font sizes.

        It won't happen for large screens until the marginal cost of the extra pixel density is relatively insignificant, about five years I'd guess after 30" des

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by PitaBred ( 632671 )

        1080p is "enough" because the mass market of people use their computers as mobile Internet + video machines. And for little else. These are the same people coming from setting 1600x1200 monitors to 1024x768 because the text is "too small".

    • >>>We just got to a certain point and after that we just went "OOoohhh HD"

      The screens are being produced for the general population, and they only have Blurays or HDTV (1920x1080) as their maximum resolution. No point going higher than that, just as there was no point making CRT TVs higher than approximately 700x525 back in the days of analog VCRs (1990s and earlier).

      Of course if you need higher resolution, for CAD or CGI development, I'm sure those specialized displays can be bought and hooked-up

    • It figures that they would develop displays with this pixel density just as my ability to focus close enough to appreciate them goes away. {sigh}

  • Usable by humans (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tomalpha ( 746163 ) * on Monday October 25, 2010 @08:54AM (#34010836)

    New tech is all good, but if this is now (supposedly) even more higher res than the human eye compared to Retina, is there any point?

    Can you tell the difference?

    • Re:Usable by humans (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bemymonkey ( 1244086 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @09:08AM (#34010952)

      I could definitely go for a display like this, whether or not I can see the single pixels. Devices with displays this size usually run OS's that are relatively good at scaling - Android or iOS for instance.

      Current screens, especially the huge 4"+ monsters on Android devices lately, are just too pixely at a measly WVGA, and I'd welcome higher resolutions such as 720p at 3.7" or so. Viewing web pages and large amounts of text is just more fun when you have enough pixels to play with - especially with web sites being designed for 1024x768 and higher these days.

      The iPhone4 is close to perfect. Definitely the best display on the market, IMO, and mainly because of the nice pixel density.

      No, I don't mind holding the phone 10" from my face in order to read text, as long as that text is nice and sharp, and I still have the option of zooming in with fantastic scaling. :)

    • Re:Usable by humans (Score:4, Informative)

      by Phrogz ( 43803 ) <!> on Monday October 25, 2010 @09:11AM (#34010988) Homepage

      The Retina theoretical limit is based on a 'standard' viewing distance for phone displays. If you wanted HD glasses (using a far focal point) you would need much higher res. Did not RTFA, but perhaps that is the sort of target for this.

      Either that or it's just geeky dick wagging. :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by c ( 8461 )

      > Can you tell the difference?

      There will always be someone who will claim to be able to tell the difference, and as long as that someone is as crazy as the average audiophile you'll see companies trying to develop 1200 dpi displays that you can wear on your wrist.

      • If you have this display nearer to your eye then you normally hold an iPhone4 then yes you might be able to see the difference, otherwise you can't

        So this might be for display glasses for virtual reality?

        the iPhone is around the maximum people can see at handheld device distance

        Very good quality monitors need to be >300dpi to be about this limit

        Most people view Normal TV on a small screen several feet away and unless they buy a big screen TV they cannot see the difference

        Even HDTV is relatively low res o

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Walterk ( 124748 )

      Of course you can tell the difference, as long as you wear special glasses with solid gold lenses as these conduct the photons better.

    • Re:Usable by humans (Score:5, Informative)

      by Speare ( 84249 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @09:16AM (#34011072) Homepage Journal

      I'm sure many will correct me if I'm wrong, but the basic gist of devices like the Retina display is to match or slightly exceed the theoretical limit of an eye's ability to resolve details at a normal usage distance. This is an argument directly related to the Nyquist theorem: to capture a signal, scan at a resolution at least twice your desired sensitivity. The Compact Disc chose 44050 Hz sampling rate because our ears generally cannot hear anything over 22000 Hz.

      What the Nyquist theorem misses is that the mind is not just taking a single sample, but a time series of many samples. A good listener or an observant viewer can see qualitative differences in a square wave and a smoother sine wave, even near the limits of resolution. In the visual realm, there's a good example. As you move an image across different photoreceptors, the brain will synthesize additional resolution. Our eyeballs do this all the time: tiny involuntary movements called Nystagmus help our neural edge-detectors gather more data to aid in perception. You can experiment with this using a video editor and one of those "pixelating" filters: move an object behind a coarse pixelating filter, and you can easily determine more about the original object shape than you could with a fixed image. Nystagmus beats Nyquist, if you will.

      I think there's plenty of room for higher resolution sampling: music is often sampled at 48000 KHz nowadays, and I think handheld displays will benefit from 400+ or even 500+ DPI easily.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by locofungus ( 179280 )

        What the Nyquist theorem misses is that the mind is not just taking a single sample, but a time series of many samples. A good listener or an observant viewer can see qualitative differences in a square wave and a smoother sine wave, even near the limits of resolution.

        No. This fundamentally misunderstands the Nyquist theorem.

        If you low pass filter a signal and then sample it at at least twice the frequency of the highest frequency passed by the low pass filter then you can _exactly_ reconstruct the original

      • This is an argument directly related to the Nyquist theorem: to capture a signal, scan at a resolution at least twice your desired sensitivity.

        I think that's specifically related to waveforms and frequency, though. I'm not sure it applies to discrete pixels in a visual field of view. You do get aliasing in pictures, but I think the ~350 DPI *is* what you need to make it so aliasing isn't visible at ~10". It depends on the person's visual acuity, and of course there's still the question of "what if I hold the display 6 inches from my face?" But no, I don't think we need to go to 700 DPI for displays.

        I wonder if, after 300-500 DPI, it might mak

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ArAgost ( 853804 )
        I vehemently disagree - the Nyquist theorem misses nothing. In music, there is no reason sample over 48 KHz, unless there is some pitch/time stretching going on. Anyone claiming to hear a difference must have, by Nyquist theorem, a superhuman hearing (highly unlikely).
        The nystagmus is a smooth pursuing movement... I don't know how it applies here, since the visual acuity, (spatial resolving capacity) is never measured in terms of the retina alone but as a property of the whole human visual system. Once we'
    • Depends on your viewing distance.

      It's a step in the right direction: imagine this resolution on a 1" display. Now imagine two of those. Imagine some display holder that looks very much like a pair of glasses. And now imagine you wear those... the ultimate 3D display!

      After that it should be come a relative small step to add some sensor to find the direction your head is turned and you have some great 3D VR goggles.

      It may be a bit overdone for phone displays - but then the iPhone's "retina" resolution is o

    • I am sure that with Casio's upcoming BionicEye artificial implantable eye bulbs, the difference will be astounding!

    • Aliasing. Pixels too small to distinguish doesn't mean you've achieved display perfection, for much the same reasons that your games machine might do a 2x supersample, essentially rendering the game at double the display resolution to remove "jaggies".

    • Absolutely! Normal printers manage to print at 600 dpi and there is a clear difference between text printed with that resolution and 300 dpi or even 150 dpi, which even that is higher than most LCD screens. The difference in readability is enormous. Imagine seeing the Times font look as crisp and readable on screen as on paper! Or not having to use stupid tricks like subpixel rendering to make fonts look good.

      I can't wait for the day this technology becomes mainstream.

      • by Surt ( 22457 )

        And basically everyone can tell the difference between 2400dpi printers and 600dpi printers as well.

    • by migla ( 1099771 )

      The magic thing about a retina display is that if you get close enough it ceases to be a retina display.

      I'd rather take two smaller displays of this super-retinal resolution, though, and have one for each eye...

    • New tech is all good, but if this is now (supposedly) even more higher res than the human eye compared to Retina, is there any point?

      Can you tell the difference?

      Probably not. But guess what *magical, revolutionary* feature will make it into iPhone 5, TBA at the 2011 (or 2012) World Wide Developer Conference?

    • by Surt ( 22457 )

      Two answers:

      1) The 'retina' display is a big lie, based on holding the display further away from the eye than is realistic. Most people can make out the pixels on the retina if they hold it at a comfortable distance.

      2) A 1080p display doesn't have to scale video output, which means less artifacts.

  • Too late! (Score:4, Funny)

    by hcpxvi ( 773888 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @08:58AM (#34010858)
    Brilliant. It arrives just at the point in my life where my eyesight is deteriorating, so that I have no chance of benefiting from it. Sigh.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nyctopterus ( 717502 )

      I'm not sure how this works exactly, but there might be some benefit to the sharpness of these displays, even if your eyesight isn't great.

  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @09:01AM (#34010894) Homepage

    The AC could of at least given a pointer to where the description was taken from []

  • Help Needed (Score:5, Funny)

    by louzer ( 1006689 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @09:17AM (#34011084) Homepage
    I am kind of busy. Can anyone please do the Apple bashing for me?
  • it may be overkill for normal use (assuming the Retina display is already beyond the eye's capability to see detail), but there are other applications of such high density.

    If you paired a 458dpi display with a 40lpi lenticular lens, you could display a whopping 11+ images for true 3-D. 11 images means that when you rotate the display back and forth the objects rotate too... so you can look "behind" things just like if they were really there in 3D - you get 11 different perspectives to view from. 40lpi len

    • The other cool use would be integration into a stereo 3D headset... two screens at HD resolution would make an awesome immersive experience, where you could incorporate a decent field of view without losing too much detail to be useful.

    • I just RTFA, and the partner with Casio is Toppan Printing... one of the world leaders in lenticular lens technology. Maybe they're going down the lenticular display route already? FYI, lenticular is a "no-glasses-required" 3D technology. I know many people hate lenticular, but that's usually because it's badly done - poor registration between the image and the lens. But, for a display you'd invest much more in ensuring proper registration in the first place and could achieve high quality every time.


  • I'm happy to see research on higher DPI small screens because perhaps this forecasts seeing the next resolution jump in phones soon. As others have noted, the 4"+ diagonal screens on phones now are typically 800x480 or 854x480 and that just isn't good enough for my eyes (a bit worse than average). But go to 1280x768 (my favorite aspect ratio sitting between 1280x720 which seems kind of narrow for a phone and 1280x800 which is a little wide) and you have the following DPI vs. diagonal:

    4.1 364
    4.2 355

  • That sounds like it could be good for the rumoured PSP2, though the power requirements could be a deal-breaker.

  • Did anyone else read the headline as "World's smallest FUD display"? I was trying to figure out if it was from Apple or Microsoft.
  • Is it really that big of a deal? Any text will need to be scaled up. I'm typing this on a 13" Sony Vaio (Z12) with "Full HD" (Best Buy speak for 1920x1080) and I wouldn't be able to see anything if I hadn't scaled up the fonts. Our eyes can only make out so much detail, and I think this new screen might be a bit beyond what most people will need for a quality small-screen experience.
  • by roc97007 ( 608802 ) on Monday October 25, 2010 @02:37PM (#34015732) Journal

    Instead of working on handheld devices with resolution better than the eye can see, why not improve the current state of flat panel displays?

    I'm still using an old 19 inch tube because it supports 1600X1200 and my work requires a display at least 1200 pixels tall. Try buying that in a flat panel. In 16X9, it works out to be about 2140 pixels wide. But no matter what size flat panel you get these days, their maximum resolution is 1080P, 1920X1080, which is too damned short. In this case, the HDTV standards have messed us up, because of the perception that 1080P is all anyone could ever need.

    I'm not talking about showing video at a higher resolution, I just want to get some work done.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Yosho ( 135835 )

      But no matter what size flat panel you get these days, their maximum resolution is 1080P, 1920X1080, which is too damned short.

      What are you talking about? There are plenty of LCD displays that have a vertical resolution of 1200 or better. Here's a few from Newegg [].

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