Cramming four times as many pixels into the Retina Display of Apple’s third-gen tablet has proven to be a challenge to the company’s manufacturing partners, who are using the advanced Super High Aperture pixel design and doubling the number of LEDs for backlighting. According to NPD Group, the 2048×1536 screen has been tough for Samsung, LG and Sharp who are supplying panels for the new iPad.
The three suppliers reportedly rely on a production process called “a-SI TFT,” which is known to be especially difficult, as the 264 ppi packed into the new 9.7-inch display are claimed to be testing the upper limits of the technology. Sharp was initially said to be pushing to the iPad 3 to sport its IGZO screen technology. However, a report in January argued that the company’s IGZO screens failed to meet Apple’s standards.
Increased pixel density in the newly launched tablet has also forced Retina Display makers to double LEDs for backlighting. Incorporating at least 72 LEDs, the new screens could provide a considerable increase in power consumption. The slightly thicker and heavier case than that of the previous-gen iPad suggests the device features a larger battery to accommodate the Retina Display with more LEDs without reducing battery life.
According to DisplaySearch, the new tablet’s screen boasts Super High Aperture pixel designs allowing Apple to increase the pixel density of the same 9.7-inch display without affecting image quality or causing cross-talk. To boost aperture ratio, a roughly 3mm thick photo-definable acrylic resin layer is applied to planarize the tablet and increase the vertical gap between the signal lines and ITO pixel electrodes. SHA technology is currently employed by around one quarter of all LCDs. As future devices switch to super-high-resolution screens, this number is expected to grow.