Thinner is better, or so say thin-film display manufacturers. For this reason, Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) developed a reflective, low-temperature poly-silicon thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD). Claiming an industry first, the company says its prototype offers low power consumption, increased mechanical reliability, and high resolution (800 x 600 pixels) in a thin, lightweight package. Targeted towards mobile applications, such as the emerging handheld PC market, the reflective TFT LCD reportedly consumes only 1/4 the power, weighs 1/2 less, and is 1/3 the thickness of a conventional amorphous-silicon backlit TFT LCD. Toshiba reports that shock and vibration characteristics are improved because the LCD driver circuitry is built into the periphery of the glass. Poly-silicon technology allows a smaller pixel pitch by patterning driver circuitry directly onto the glass to support high-resolution levels, alleviating many of the physical limitations imposed on LCDs requiring peripheral driver ICs. Toshiba plans to start mass production of a 8.4-inch reflective TFT LCD panel in the first quarter of 1999. Call: (800) 879-4963.