What is IPS Technology?
IPS technology screen is a high-end TFT LCD display panel that stands for In-Plane Switching. It’s a considerable improvement over the traditional TFT LCD display module, offering enhanced features and usability. While the basic structure of an IPS LCD is identical to that of a TFT LCD, the difference lies in the arrangement of Liquid Crystal Molecules and the performance outcomes.
This technology has been widely adopted in panels for televisions, tablet computers, and Smartphones due to its superior color accuracy and consistency across all viewing angles. IPS panels are widely appreciated for their ability to offer clear, stable images, and better coloring, enhancing the overall viewing experience.
In the world of display technology, IPS (in-plane switching) has made a significant impact. This screen technology, primarily utilized in liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), has revolutionized the way we perceive digital imagery. It’s a subject worth exploring especially when considering the never-ending debate of TFT LCD vs IPS screen. Let’s delve into the intricate details of IPS technology, understand its advantages, and see how it scores in comparison to other display technologies.
The Genesis of IPS Technology
The development of IPS technology was a response to the limitations of the twisted nematic field effect (TN) LCD displays that were prevalent in the late 1980s. TN displays were notorious for their strong viewing angle dependence and low-quality color reproduction. These issues necessitated the invention of a more advanced display technology that could offer better viewing angles and color accuracy.
The birth of IPS technology can be traced back to Germany, where engineers filed patents for advantageous molecular arrangements in 1990. Subsequent improvements were made by Japanese electronics giant, Hitachi, who optimized the shape of the electrodes to advance the viewing angle dependence. This marked a significant milestone in the production of large-screen LCDs with acceptable visual performance.
The technology has since evolved, with further enhancements like Super-IPS (S-IPS) and Advanced Super-IPS (AS-IPS) being introduced. Today, IPS technology is the preferred choice for many high-end products such as Apple Mac computer monitors and Samsung mobile phones.
Understanding the Underlying Technology
The basic principle of IPS technology revolves around the alignment of liquid crystal molecules sandwiched between two glass surfaces. In the absence of an applied electric field – the ‘OFF’ state – the liquid crystal molecules are organized in a 90 degree twisted nematic structure, similar to TN LCDs. However, the major difference lies in the positioning of the electrodes. In IPS displays, the electrodes are located in the same plane, on a single glass substrate.
The molecules of liquid crystal have a positive dielectric anisotropy, which allows them to align parallel to an applied electrical field. Thus, when voltage is applied (the ‘ON’ state), the electric field reorients the LC molecules while remaining essentially parallel to the glass surfaces. This change in orientation alters the light’s path, resulting in the generation of an image.
Noteworthy Features of IPS Screens
- Fast and Stable Response Time: IPS displays have a response time that is not only quick but also stable and consistent, making them an improvement over traditional TFT displays.
- Wide Viewing Angle: One of the primary advantages of IPS displays is their wide viewing angle. Unlike TFT screens, IPS screens do not experience color distortion or blurriness when viewed from different angles.
- Superior Color Reproduction: IPS displays are known for their ability to produce pristine, original images with superior color reproduction. This is achieved through a parallel configuration of pixels, which allows for better light reflection.
TFT LCD vs. IPS Screen: The Showdown
When comparing TFT LCD and IPS screen technology, there are several factors to consider.
Clarity of Color
Both In Plane Switching and TFT LCD displays offer clear color displays. However, IPS technology panel edge out TFT LCD in terms of color clarity due to their better crystal arrangement. This advanced technology ensures that the images displayed are much more pristine and original than those of TFT screens.
IPS displays have a wider aspect ratio due to their Wide-Set configuration, provide a better Wide-angle view compared to TFT displays. TFT displays tend to distort colors after a certain viewing angle, limiting the viewing experience. Hence, for Wide-angle viewing, IPS screens are more preferable.
IPS technology, being more advanced than TFT LCD technology, consumes up to 15% more power. This increased energy requirement, coupled with larger screen sizes, can lead to faster battery drain in portable devices. On the flip side, IPS panels offer superior performance which may justify the increased power consumption for some users.
Pros and Cons of IPS Displays
Like any technology, IPS displays have their fair share of pros and cons.
- IPS panels can easily be installed in walls due to their low depth.
- Devices with IPS screens may have longer battery life.
- IPS displays produce clear, pristine, and dynamic colors.
- They offer a wide viewing angle, ensure stable and clear images and a great viewing experience.
- IPS displays are expensive to produce.
- They require more power to function than traditional TFT panels.
- They have slower response times compared to TN panels.
- IPS panels can sometimes suffer from backlight bleeding, a defect that results in light leakage around the edges of the screen.
The Future of IPS Technology
Given the constant Advancements in display technology, it’s no surprise that IPS has seen several iterations since its inception. Technologies like Super-IPS (S-IPS), Advanced Super-IPS (AS-IPS), and Plane to Line Switching (PLS). Have taken the core IPS technology and improved upon it, offering even better Color Reproduction, response times, and viewing angles.
Another emerging technology is Advanced Hyper-Viewing Angle (AHVA), developed by AU Optronics. This technology, not to be confused with the company’s AMVA technology, is similar to IPS and offers comparable performance and specs. AHVA even beat out IPS and PLS to be the first to offer high refresh rate IPS-type panels, a feature highly desired in the gaming community.