Sharp announced this morning (via 9to5Mac) that they have begun mass-producing new high-performance ‘Retina’ resolution displays in sizes from 7 inches to 32 inches. The new panels are based on Sharp’s IGZO technology, which allows for thinner panels with lower power consumption.
In March 2012 at Kameyama Plant No. 2, Sharp began producing the world’s first high-performance LCD panels incorporating IGZO oxide semiconductors. Sharp is expanding production scale through April to meet market demand.
Sharp will encourage the application of its new high-resolution LCD panels to high-definition notebook PCs and LCD monitors—which are both expected to grow in demand—as well as to mobile devices. Sharp will also contribute to creating markets for attractive new products.
Apple reportedly considered Sharp’s IGZO displays for the 3rd-generation iPad, and may also be considering such panels for their rumored upcoming television set. The decreased power demands of IGZO panels would likely make it more feasible for Apple to include Retina-level displays in forthcoming MacBooks and iMacs.
The timing of this is especially interesting considering Intel’s apparent rush to release their Ivy Bridge processors and supply constraints on current MacBook models, indicating that suppliers may be working to provide components in time for Apple to release new Macs.
I dunno about you, but for me, a Retina-display MacBook Pro with an Ivy Bridge processor sounds like a difficult upgrade to resist!