Sharp has just taken pixel-pushing to a whole new level with its prototype new display monitor – the IGZO. The prototype unit consists of 27-inches of screen real estate and runs at a smooth 120Hz. The best part is it has a resolution of 8K and also features HDR.
That’s four times the pixels of a normal 4K display. So just to put into a bit of perspective, that’s 7680×4320 pixels on a screen. While hardware has only now caught up with generating 4K resolution pictures, it’ll be a little longer than soon until 8K becomes the established format of choice. 4K in the meantime hasn’t yet reached many homes or screens as we’d like, but the progress shown in image display technology is immense.
IGZO is actually a form of technology that Sharp has infused its newer displays with. Basically, it’s a semiconductor material used in a panel’s backplane. It’s got a mix of indium, gallium zinc and oxygen and can be used in various display technologies such as IPS and OLEDs.
This particular panel by Sharp is an IPS display. And the reason why it can push so many pixels is again, because unlike normal displays, its electron mobility is 20 to 50 times higher. The IGZO uses smaller transistors that can churn out those extra pixels more energy efficiently.
The pixel density on the 27” monitor will top up at 326 ppi – that’s the kind of screen density that today’s smartphones have. Basically, the bandwidth required to process running images at that resolution would be 15 GB/sec. Now at that scale, it might be difficult to tell the difference between the 8K and a 4K. But the details should give it away.
As far as real-world use is concerned, for actual application in games, it’s going to be extremely difficult to run on native resolution. It might need quite a few GTX1080s running on SLI to produce the picture on a screen like this. It’s a good thing that Sharp only made this a prototype so we can figure out what to do now that the technology is out there.
When this screen will be available and at what cost hasn’t been officially revealed yet by the company. But we’re not expecting any bargains once it actually does come out. While our bandwidths struggle to enable YouTube videos to load 1080p videos, it’ll be far along from actually loading an 8K video soon.
True to its name, Sharp really is bringing forward cutting-edge display technology to the fore. It’s exciting to see where they take it from here.