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 user 2005-06-09 at 9:39:00 am Views: 46
  • #9847

    Canon Unveils Credit Card-Sized Printer,

    Canon Inc of Japan has disclosed the next generation of
    core technologies for its products. Among the items revealed, the two that
    attracted perhaps the most attention were the bubblejet-type inkjet printer, and
    electronic paper.

    Pushing Inkjet for Success

    In the inkjet
    printer sector, Canon Inc showed a compact printer small enough to be mounted on
    a digital camera. It measures only 75mm x 46mm x 15mm – about the same footprint
    as a credit card. Already sublimation thermal transfer and fluorescent tube
    print head technologies have been put into commercial use in digital camera
    printers, but Canon says that inkjet technology offers even smaller size and
    lower power consumption. The power consumption during printing is only several
    W, which means it does not require an AC adaptor, unlike sublimation

    Normally the inkjet printer head (carriage) holds internal ink
    tanks, which have made miniaturization difficult. The firm got round this
    problem by placing an extremely small tank in the carriage, and an external tank
    with more ink (enough for 20 prints) elsewhere. The internal tank is filled with
    only the ink needed for a single print at a time, and the external tank (which
    is integrated with the cartridge and supplies the ink to the internal tank) is
    sold together with 20 sheets of the special paper. The firm plans to productize
    in mid-2006, and expects that each cartridge will cost under

    E-Paper Planned for 2007

    The super-flat display
    known as “electronic paper” attracted as much attention as the inkjet. Only
    300micron thick, the display can be bent like paper. R&D is continuing with
    a product release target of 2007.

    The Canon electronic paper sandwiches a
    fluid known as dispersion medium between two substrates. Characters are
    displayed via the electrophoresis phenomenon, which causes particles in the
    fluid to move. The prototype used charged black particles (toner) mixed with a
    transparent dispersion medium to express black by distributing toner throughout
    the medium. When voltage is applied toner accumulates at the electrodes,
    allowing the medium to become transparent, appearing white. The black/white
    coloration can be controlled by changing the voltage between plus and

    A reflective panel was constructed, which uses scattering of the
    input external light for display. By combining this with red, green and blue
    color filters, a full color display would be simple to implement.

    A key
    problem in implementing electronic paper is the slow response of the display.
    This is because when particles are moved in electrophoresis, the voltage must be
    kept on until motion is complete. The Canon prototype offers a per-pixel
    response speed of 20ms, or about the same as reflective liquid crystal display
    (LCD) panels. A line sequential drive system is used, however, which means it
    takes time to redraw the entire screen.

    The firm is now considering
    placing a transistor and capacitor under each pixel, just as in existing thin
    film transistor (TFT) LCD panels, and applying voltage to all pixels
    simultaneously to resolve the problem