In the near future, mobile phones will be capable of reproducing every color shade found in nature. Samsung Electronics has completed development of an LCD driver IC with a color gamut of 65,000 that is expected to set a precedent for liquid crystal displays used in mobile phones. Samsung's new STN-LCD driver IC measures 177 COM (commons) by 144 SEG (segments) (the size units for super twisted nematic LCD modules) and reproduces about 250 times more colors than the 256-color models currenty used on mobile phones. The 65,000-color STN-LCD will become the main next-generation display for mobile phones. Importantly, Samsung's new LCD driver IC can be programmed to reproduce 256, 4,096 or 65,000 colors, accommodating the demands of different users. It also improves the processing performance of the mobile phone CPU. In addition, the device uses multiple-line selection (MLS) to transmit data from more than one data line at a time, quadrupling processing speed while reducing power consumption by some 60%. The online multimedia functions of mobile phones continue to expand, with greater emphasis being put on motion
pictures. As a result, competition is keen over the color reproduction of mobile phone LCDs. Samsung Electronics predicts that about 37% of the approximately 480 million mobile phones sold in 2003 will be equipped with color displays. The company is developing a variety of new driver ICs (such as a 4,096-color version) to support sub-LCDs used in mobile phones. This way, the company can maintain a leading position in a rapidly growing market. Samsung plans to concentrate R&D efforts on the driver IC, which is judged to be a "strategic" product category. Mass production of the new driver IC will commence this July, and the company aims to have around 15% of the overall LCD driver IC market by 2003.