NEC Develops 12.1-inch 3D LCD Panel Viewable with Naked Eye

NEC LCD Technologies developed a 12.1-inch amorphous Si TFT LCD panel that allows users to view 3D images with the naked eye. The panel has a resolution of 800 x 600 (SVGA). It is intended for use in entertainment applications, such as movies and games, as well as industrial devices such as digital signage, industrial CAD and medical image analysis systems.

The panel displays high resolution 3D images through the adoption of NEC's proprietary 3D display pixel alignment method called "Horizontally Double-Density Pixels (HDDP)," which is coupled with an optical device that can change the light directions, the company said. The optical device is used to change the direction of the light so that data for the right and left eyes is visible only to the appropriate eye.

In the HDDP method, RGB sub-pixels are aligned in the form of horizontal stripes, and each pixel is vertically divided into two sections for the right and left eyes. With the new layout, the resolution in the horizontal direction is doubled compared with the existing 3D LCD panel whose RGB sub-pixels are arranged as vertical stripes, the company said.

The 3D representation is enabled by displaying different images for the right and left eyes in the two vertically divided sections in each sub-pixel. And 2D images are reproduced with the same data displayed in these sections. The panel is capable of displaying 2D and 3D images at the same resolution, making it possible to simultaneously display 2D and 3D images on the same screen.

The development of the latest panel was promoted based on the 2.5-inch HDDP 3D LCD panel manufactured by NEC Central Laboratories in August 2004, NEC LCD Technologies said. The company aims to start mass-producing 3D LCD panels in fiscal 2009.

NEC LCD Technologies will display a prototype 3D LCD panel at the International 3D Fair in the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation from Oct 23 to 26, 2008, and at FPD International 2008 in Pacifico Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, from Oct 29 to 31, 2008.

By Yukiko Kanoh, Nikkei Electronics