New e-reader chip brings page layout to the (E Ink) screen

via DVICE Atom Feed by Peter Pachal on 11/2/09

New e-reader chip brings page layout to the (E Ink) screen
One of the issues many newspaper readers have with the current crop of e-readers (growing by the day) is that they don’t do page layout very well. On a newspaper page, changes in text position and point size subtly give signals about which stories are less or more important, while on an E Ink screen headlines are generally all given equal value.
That’s changing with the introduction of a new kind of e-reader processor. Chipmaker Marvell recently unveiled its Armada 166E processor, which integrates the e-paper display controller into the chip itself. It created the chip in partnership with E Ink, the company behind the display technology of pretty much every e-reader on the market. Part of the package: FirstPaper software, which supports larger screens, graphics and flexible page layout. One of the first e-readers with the Armada will be the Entourage Edge.
What does this mean to you? Expect even more e-readers at cheaper prices and better technology in the coming year. With technology changing so rapidly in this category, does it make much sense to buy a Nook or IREX reader now, or hold out for a few months?

Pixel Qi 3Qi Magic E-Paper and High-Res LCD Dual Display Becomes Real Next Month

via Gizmodo by matt buchanan on 4/23/09

The display technology Pixel Qi has been promising is revolutionary: A high-res color LCD and low-power, reflective reader mode better than E-ink. For dirt cheap. And it’s coming next month.

If you recall, PixelQi’s founder, Mary Lou Jepsen, is the brains behind the OLPC’s breakthrough reflective screen, and an evangelist for the idea that the future of the computer is in displays. When we talked to her about the problems with e-readers, she predicted that LCD would overtake electrophoretic display technology—aka E-ink—by 2010.

The idea isn’t crazy if Pixel Qi’s displays match the hype: One screen that delivers a high-res, color LCD for normal computer stuff; an e-paper mode that’s even more readable than e-ink; and a super low-power black-and-white mode. And is cheap to make and advance, since it’s fabricated in standard LCD factories. It makes the possibility of a single tablet computer that really can do everything that much more possible.

And we’ll get to see the first one, 3Qi, next month. Sure, it’s just a stupid screen, but I’m excited.

[Cnet via Engadget]