Working With Very Cool LCD Modules From Sharp


Here’s some interesting hardware for you: Sharp came out with a very cool series of LCD displays, gong by the name Sharp Memory LCD. Not only are these displays very low power – on the order of about 5 microAmps to keep the display alive – but some of the smaller displays are reflective, making them eminently readable even in daylight. [Mike] decided he’d take a look at these displays and liked what he found.

While these displays are still pretty new, there are a few breakout boards available to make them accessible to desktop tinkerers. The folks at MakerDyne have a breakout board available and there’s one by kuzyatech over on Tindie.

While these displays are readable in daylight and are extremely low power, don’t expect to display LCD video on them anytime soon. The refresh rate is still fairly slow, but you might be able to get away with simple animations with interlacing and so forth. Still, outside of eink, you’re not going to find a better display in terms of power consumption and daylight readability.


11 thoughts on “Working With Very Cool LCD Modules From Sharp

    1. well its new to some and many of these dev boards are just getting out … i was lucky with getting mine from someone at silicon labs but there really JUST getting mainstream and just getting out in some products

  1. Wonder how these Sharp displays are related to PixelQi technology. Sounds suspiciously similar. Anyway, check — they sometimes have hobbyist components available, and have just announced a daylight-performant LCD display with touchscreen.

  2. Sharp made an experimental z80 CPU on glass back in ’02 or ’03, so them having the electronics built directly into the glass here (on the module at the end of the video) is not too surprising (but still neat). I was hoping this tech wouldn’t stay experimental!

    1. This (glass as substrate) is how the first (and I mean the first ever, not first production) microchips were made, it’s just that using monocrystalline silicon was easier, so this method fell into obsolescence ;-)

      1. I remember a completely transparent pocket calculator in the mid ’80s that had LCD display, conduction paths, key contacts and the logic all built directly onto a monolithic glass substrate. I found it especially interesting that the conduction paths were very nearly transparent.

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