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Submitted for partial fulfillment of award of
B.TECH Degree
Computer science & Engineering


Department of Computer science & Engineering


This is to certify that the Seminar report entitled E-INK is

submitted to Noida Institute of

Engineering & Technology, Greater Noida as a part of syllabus prescribed by

Uttar Pradesh Technical University, Lucknow for the Degree of Bachelor of
Technology (Computer Science & Engineering) during the academic year of 201314, is a bonafide record of work done by ANKUR PRAKASH under my
supervision and guidance.



Lecturer, Dept. of

Lecture, Dept. of

Computer Science & Engineering

Computer Science & Engineering



First of all, I am grateful to The Almighty God for establishing me to complete this
I wish to express my sincere thanks to Dr. Parshant Singh, HOD & Dean Administrative,
Department of Computer Science & Engineering, for his constant encouragement.
I also thanks to Mr. Amit Kumar Gupta, Mr. Arvind Chauhan Lecturer, Department of
Computer Science & Engineering. I am extremely grateful and indebted to him for his expert,
sincere and encouragement extended to me.
I take this opportunity to record our sincere thanks to all of the faculty members of the
Department of Computer Science & Engineering for their help and encouragement.
I also place on record, my sense of gratitude to one and all who, directly or indirectly, have lent
their helping hand in this venture.

[ ii ]

I hereby declare that the work which is being presented in this seminar report on E-INK
submitted at N.I.E.T is an authentic work presented by Ankur Mishra C.S.E of 6th semester
under the supervision of Mr. AMIT KUMAR GUPTA

Ankur Prakash
6TH Sem

[ iii ]

E-ink (Electronic ink or Electrophoretic ink) is a pioneering invention that combines all the
desired features of a modern electronic display and the sheer convenience and physical
versatility of sheet of paper. The effort is to create a dynamic high-resolution electronic display
that's thin and flexible enough to become the next generation of paper. The technology has been
identified and developed is well under way. Within five years, it is envisioned electronic books
that can display volumes of information as easily as flipping a page and permanent newspapers
that update themselves daily via wireless broadcast. They deliver the readability of paper under b
virtually any condition, without backlighting. And electronic ink displays are persistent without
power, drawing current only when they change, which means batteries can be smaller and last

[ iv ]



1.1 HISTORY ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------1
1.2 INTRODUCTION-------------------------------------------------------------------------2
ARCHITECTURE ---------------------------------------------------------------------------5
3.1 E INK PEARL-----------------------------------------------------------------------------7
3.2 E INK MOBIUS---------------------------------------------------------------------------7
3.3 E INK TRITON----------------------------------------------------------------------------7
3.4 E INK CARTA-----------------------------------------------------------------------------8
WORKING ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------9
5.1 eREADER ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------12
5.2 INDICATORS----------------------------------------------------------------------------13
5.3 WATCHES--------------------------------------------------------------------------------13
5.4 KEYPADS---------------------------------------------------------------------------------14
5.5 CELL PHONES---------------------------------------------------------------------------14

5.6 SMART CARDS--------------------------------------------------------------------------15

6.1 ADVANTAGES--------------------------------------------------------------------------17
6.2 DISADVANTAGES---------------------------------------------------------------------19
7.1 AT HOME ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------20
7.2 ON THE GO-------------------------------------------------------------------------------21
7.3 EDUCATION------------------------------------------------------------------------------21

E Ink (electrophoretic ink) is a specific proprietary type of electronic paper manufactured by E
Ink Corporation, founded in 1997 based on research started at the MIT Media Lab. Joseph
Jacobson and Barrett Comiskey are listed as inventors on the original patent filed in 1996.
On June 1, 2009, E Ink Corp. announced an agreement to be purchased by one of its primary
business partners, Prime View Int'l Co. Ltd, for US$215 million. It is predicted that the purchase
by this Taiwanese company will put the production of the E-Ink EPD on a larger scale than
before, as Prime View also owns BOE Hydis Technology Co. Ltd. and maintains a strategic
partner relationship with Chi Mei Optoelectronics Corp., which is now Chi Mei Innolux Corp.,
part of the Hon Hai-Foxconn Group. It is noteworthy that Foxconn is the sole ODM partner for
Prime View's Netronix Inc., the supplier of E-Ink-panel e-readers for rebranding (the end-user
products may appear with any of several brands, e.g., Bookeen, COOL-ER, PocketBook, etc.).
It is currently available commercially in grayscale and color and is commonly used in mobile
devices such as e-readers and, to a lesser extent, mobile phones and watches.The material is
processed into a film for integration into electronic displays, particularly for e-readers. The
Motorola F3 was the first mobile phone to employ E Ink technology into its display, taking
advantage of the material's ultra-low power consumption. In addition, the Samsung Alias 2 uses
this technology as the display on the buttons change. The October 2008 limited edition North
American issue of Esquire was the first magazine cover to integrate E Ink and featured flashing
text. The cover was manufactured in Shanghai, China, was shipped refrigerated to the United
States for binding and was powered by a nominal 90-day integrated battery supply.


The term electrophoresis is a composition of 'electro' and 'phoresis', two words that are derived
from the Greek words for 'charge' and 'the act of carrying'. In that way, the name 'electrophoretic
display (ED)' already gives a hint about its basic working principle. As shown on the picture
below an ED is made of an ink layer, sandwiched between two layers that can be plastic, glass or
even paper. The total thickness of the layer structure is between 0.5mm on glass and 0.1mm on
plastic, which is in the order of a sheet of paper.

Principle of an electrophoretic display


In the simplest case of a black and white display, the top substrate is covered with a single
transparent electrode, while the bottom substrate contains a complex pattern of line-electrodes.
Using active matrix driving, a single pixel can be addressed, meaning that the bottom electrode
can be made either positive or negative compared to the top-electrode. The electrophoretic ink
between these electrodes is a mixture of transparent liquid and microscopic charged pigment
The usual choice is negatively charged black particles (carbon black) and positively charged
white particles (TiO2). In practice the ink is captured inside microcups, or microcapsules as in
the figure. When a voltage is applied over the top- and bottom electrode, the charged pigments
will move due to an electrostatic force to the attracting electrodes. For instance, when the bottom
electrode is positive, it will attract black particles and repel white particles. These white particles
gather at the top-electrode, where they reflect incident light in all directions. This is the white
state. In the opposite case a negative bottom electrode pushes the black particles to the surface,
where they absorb the light. This is the black state. This basic principle is different than most
displays by the fact that it is reflective. So, an ED is a type of display that reflects or absorbs
ambient light in contrast to transmisive displays such as the CRT or LCD. In practice this looks

Zoomed image of an electrophoretic display

Another alternative principle for electronic ink is based on spherical ink particles with opposite
charges and colors at both sides. By applying an electric field, the particles rotate and hence
change color.

Alternative construction of electrophoretic displays

It is currently available commercially in grayscale and color and is commonly used in
mobile devices such as e-readers and, to a lesser extent, mobile phones and watches.The material
is processed into a film for integration into electronic displays, particularly for e-readers. The
Motorola F3 was the first mobile phone to employ E Ink technology into its display, taking
advantage of the material's ultra-low power consumption. In addition, the Samsung Alias 2 uses
this technology as the display on the buttons change. The October 2008 limited edition North
American issue of Esquire was the first magazine cover to integrate E Ink and featured flashing
text. The cover was manufactured in Shanghai, China, was shipped refrigerated to the United
States for binding and was powered by a nominal 90-day integrated battery supply.



The architecture of E-ink technology is given below:

1. Upper layer:
The upper layer is responsible for displaying the output on the screen.


2. Transparent electrode layer:

It is an interface between transparent micro-capsules and upper layer which transfers the charge
generated by transparent micro-capsules to upper layer, which generates output.

3. Transparent micro-capsules:
Micro-encapsulation is a process in which tiny particles or droplets are surrounded by a coating
to give small capsules of many useful properties. In a relatively simple form, a microcapsule is a
small sphere with a uniform wall around it. Here it contains pigments.

4. Positively charged white pigments:

A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of
wavelength-selective absorption.

5. Negatively charged black pigments:

Black pigments are materials that are responsible for black color formation.

6. Transparent oil:
Transparent oil acts like a lubricant in micro-capsule that keeps both pigments floating

7. Electrode pixel layer:

Pixel electrodes are formed on the protective layer with first opening patterns.

8. Bottom supporting layer:

Its a base to all the parts assembled above.

9. Light:
It shows the incident light on display.

10. White:
It is showing the combination of pigments to display in white color.

11. Black:
It is showing the combination of pigments to display in white color.


Variants of E-ink
E Ink Vizplex is the internal name of E Ink's current line of display technologies. Each
version/model of Vizplex technology is marketed under different brand names, as detailed
below. Vizplex is sometimes used to refer to specifically the first-generation of the line, in order
to distinguish it from further generations, though properly speaking, Pearl and Triton are also
types of Vizplex displays, as indicated by the text "E Ink Vizplex" at the bottom of startup
screens for those displays.
Till date E-ink has developed four different type of electronic ink which are being used are as

3.1. E Ink Pearl:

E Ink Pearl, announced on July 31, 2010, is the second generation of E Ink Vizplex displays, a
higher contrast screen built with E Ink Pearl Imaging Film. The updated Amazon Kindle DX was
the first device announced to use the screen, and the Kindle 3, Kindle 4, and Kindle Touch also
incorporate the Pearl display. Sony has also included this technology into its latest release of the
Sony Reader Touch edition. This display is also used in the Nook Simple Touch, Kobo eReader
Touch, Kobo Glo, Onyx Boox M90 and X61S.

3.2. E Ink Mobius:

E-ink Mobius (E-ink Flex) is the next modification of E-ink Pearl. It does not have one of the
main disadvantages of the first two models of E-ink displays: substrate made of very thin glass.
E-ink Vizplex and E-ink Pearl have very fragile screens which can be broken easily. Substrate of
E-ink Mobius is made of flexible plastic. It cant be broken by little flexures and hits.

3.3 E Ink Triton:

E Ink Triton announced on November 9, 2010 the third generation of E Ink Vizplex displays: a
color display that is easy to read in high light. The Triton is able to display 16 shades of gray,
and 4096 colors. E Ink Triton is being used in commercially available products such as the
Hanvon color eReader, JetBook Color made by ectaco and PocketBook Color Lux made by


3. 4. E Ink Carta:
In January 2013, at the International CES, it was announced that the fourth generation of E Ink
devices will feature 768 by 1024 resolution on 6-inch displays, with 212 ppi (Pixel density). It
was named Carta and is used in the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite (2013) and in the Deutsche
Telekom tolino vision (2014).


Electronic ink is a straightforward fusion of chemistry, physics and electronics according to its
developers. Sounds simple enough but masks some very clever technology which sees millions
of tiny electrically charged microcapsules suspended in a clear fluid and which can be
individually controlled by administering an electric field a process called electrophoresis.

About the diameter of human hair, each microcapsule carries both positive and negative charged
pigmented particles. The capsules are suspended in a liquid carrier medium and sandwiched
between two arrays of electrodes, the upper one being transparent. Aligned to correspond to the
size of pixels, the resulting film is laminated to circuitry which controls specific points on the
display by the application of an electric field.

Positive Attracts Negative:

When a negative electric field is applied to the surface electrode, positively charged white
particles move to the top of the capsule and an opposing field underneath drags the black color to
the bottom. So anyone looking from above will see a white spot. Conversely, as you might
expect, the negative black particles move to the top when a positive surface field is applied (and
the white ones hidden underneath by a negative field) resulting in a black spot at the surface.
[ 9]

Words or images are then created by manipulating the screen lgphilips_epaperdisplay at pixel
level. Et voila! The resulting e-Reader displays are said to be easier on the eyes as the image
does not need to be constantly refreshed and doesnt need its own light source. Readers can also
be used in direct sunlight without image fade and are lightweight and durable.
Here we are going to discuss the working of E-ink. It has two different type of display as
per the working.

1. The Ink - 2 Pigment System:

Electronic ink is made up of millions of tiny microcapsules, about the diameter of a human hair.
Each microcapsule contains positively charged white particles and negatively charged black
particles suspended in a clear fluid. When a positive or negative electric field is applied,
corresponding particles move to the top of the microcapsule where they become visible to the
viewer. This makes the surface appear white or black at that spot.

[ 10 ]

2. Three Pigment Ink System:

Spectra is 3-pigment ink offering, engineered specifically for Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL). It
works similarly to dual pigment system, in that we apply a charge to our pigments, and to a top
and bottom electrode to facilitate movement. However, Spectra is utilizing a microcup ink

[ 11 ]

E Ink continues to revolutionize the ePaper market with E Ink Triton Imaging Film. Color ePaper
displays enabled by Triton deliver high-contrast, sunlight readable, low-power performance that
further closes the digital divide between paper and electronic displays. Triton enables color
ePaper solutions, enhancing the visual experience for ePublishing markets such as eBooks,
eNewspapers, eMagazines, and eTextbooks.
Some of the implemented devices are:

1. eReaders:
An e-book reader, also called an e-book device or e-reader, is a mobile electronic device that is
designed primarily for the purpose of reading digital e-books and periodicals.
Any device that can display text on a screen may act as an e-book reader, but specialised e-book
reader designs may optimise portability, readability (especially in sunlight), and battery life for
this purpose. A single e-book reader is capable of holding the digital equivalent of hundreds of
printed texts with no added bulk or measurable mass.
E Ink Active Matrix displays deliver the best reading experience with the highest contrast and
longest battery life for eReaders.

Some examples of eReader are:


jetBook Color


[ 12 ]

2. Indicators:
E Ink segmented displays enable engineers and designers to add high contrast displays where
power and space limitations have made it impossible to do so before.

Some examples of indicators are:

Cabinet Lock
Rukus Solar
Echo MX Backup Drive

3. Watches:
Digital watches have remained the same for years. See how Phosphor is changing the wrist
watch forever with touch time. Now next generation digital watch featuring a capacitive touch
screen and Smartphone-like watch apps.
E-ink and other cool watch technologies in this primer on the best watches to hit the watch
industry in years.
E-ink display platforms inspire innovative designs and shapes using the lowest power
requirements and added durability. It's more than a display, it's art.

[ 13 ]

Some examples of watches are:

Spirit SBPA003
World Time

4. Keypads:
The E-Inkey is a keyboard concept that could set the standard for the next generation of
keyboards. Every key on the keyboard has an E-ink screen on it which means they can change
the icon you see on them. So when youre in a program like Photoshop, the keys could change to
Photoshop shortcuts which would help you greatly when performing actions. This doesnt just
have to apply to Photoshop, it can apply to basically any other program too. The idea is so
brilliant but simple too. With E-Ink being a lot cheaper than having actual screens as keys, it
could easily be pretty affordable.
E Ink Segmented displays make it possible to offer breakthrough designs such as dynamic

Some examples of keypads are:

Alias 2

5. Cell Phones:
Electronic-ink are display technologies which are designed to mimic the appearance of ordinary
ink on display. Unlike conventional backlit flat panel displays which emit light, electronic-ink
displays reflect light like ordinary -ink, theoretically making it more comfortable to read, and
giving the surface a wider viewing angle compared to conventional displays. The contrast ratio
in available displays as of 2008 might be described as similar to that of newspaper, though newly
developed displays are slightly better. An ideal e-ink display can be read in direct sunlight
without the image appearing to fade.
[ 14 ]

E Ink Segmented displays make it possible to offer lowest power solutions with superior

Some examples of cell phones are:

Motofone F3
Yota phone
Urbano Affare

6. Smart Cards:
Smart Cards offer low power and secure ways to carry around critical data in one's pocket.
Due to the physical definition of an ISO card, flexibility, low power consumption, impactresistance and thinness are key factors in the selection of a display. E Ink's segmented display
offers all of these features as well as the ability to retain an image without drawing power making it a natural fit for this application.

[ 15 ]

Some examples of smart cards are:

Smart Card

[ 16 ]

Like everything E-ink too has some advantages and some disadvantages. We will discuss them
one by one.

The major advantages of the electrophoretic technology are:

1. Bistable Display:
E Inks technology is commonly referred to as bistable. What does this mean? Bistable means
that the image on an E Ink screen will be retained even when all power sources are removed. In
practice, this means that the display is consuming power only when something is changing. For
example, when reading on an eReader, power is only needed when turning to a new page but no
power is consumed by the display while reading the page. This is most noticeable when an
eReader goes into sleep mode yet there is still an image being displayed. By contrast, with a
traditional LCD, the display is needs to be refreshed around 30X per second, regardless of the
whether anything new is being displayed. Bistability significantly reduces the power
consumption of displays using E Ink and is a key reason eReaders have such long battery life.

2. Reflective Displays:
E Ink displays are also referred to as reflective displays. In an LCD, or emissive display,
light from a backlight is projected through the display towards your eyes. In an E Ink display, no
backlight is used; rather, ambient light from the environment is reflected from the surface of the
display back to your eyes. As with any reflective surface, the more ambient light, the brighter the
display looks. This attribute mimics traditional ink and paper, and users of E Ink displays have
said that they do not have the same eye fatigue as with LCDs when reading for long periods of
time. The backlight can also consume up to 40% of the power used in electronic product.
Therefore, eliminating the need for a backlight significantly increases the battery life versus
using a traditional LCD.

3. High reflectivity of the white state and high contrast:

Electrophoretic ink uses basically the same pigments as in regular ink for books, newspapers,
etc. Therefore EDs have the same agreeable readability as printed paper.

[ 17 ]

4. High resolution:
The current resolution is about 170 pixels per inch, which is similar to the current LCD monitors
for instance.
Excellent readability in direct sunlight or in dimmed light under all angles.

5. Very low energy consumption:

There is no need of a backlight that is the main energy consumer in most displays. Energy
consumption is 1/10 to 1/100 of a regular LCD display.

6. Possibility of thin, mobile and flexible displays:

The technology of polymer transistors has advanced to the point that all components of an ED
can be made flexible. This means that it is now possible to make a bendable or even rollable

[ 18 ]

The major disadvantages of E-ink are:

1. Very slow zoom:

Electronic paper technologies have a very low refresh rate compared to other low-power display
technologies, such as LCD. This prevents producers from implementing sophisticated interactive
applications (using fast moving menus, mouse pointers or scrolling) like those which are possible
on mobile devices. An example of this limit is that a document cannot be smoothly zoomed
without either extreme blurring during the transition or a very slow zoom.

2. Ghost images:
Another limit is that a shadow of an image may be visible after refreshing parts of the screen.
Such shadows are termed "ghost images", and the effect is termed "ghosting". This effect is
reminiscent of screen burn-in but, unlike it, is solved after the screen is refreshed several times.
Turning every pixel white, then black, then white, helps normalize the contrast of the pixels. This
is why several devices with this technology "flash" the entire screen white and black when
loading a new image.

3. Only few colors:

No company has yet successfully brought a full color display to market.

[ 19 ]

The use of E-ink is not just limited to above devices. There are researches going on to implement
some new and interesting devices which could lead the next generation to a new label in terms of
technology and gadgets.
Some of the categories on which research is going on are:

7.1. At home:
The SousChef is the perfect compliment for every kitchen and every cook. This product
combines the time honored functionality of a cutting board, with the innovative display
technology from E Ink. No more hunting around to find that 3x5 card with grandma's dumpling
recipe. The chef in your house can now easily find, store, and edit recipes in the same space
being used for food preparation. The device connects wirelessly to your existing network and
easily charges via the induction hanging post. Uses E Ink Pearl Active Matrix Display.

Some devices at are in stage of implementation are:

Tape Measure
Grilling Tools
Wall Clock
Cordless Drill
Baseball Glove

[ 20 ]

7.2. On the go:

Smart CardAdd high contrast displays with direct sunlight readability where power or space
limitations have made it impossible to do so before.


devices at are in stage of implementation are:

Bike Computer
Fuel Gauge

7.3. Education:
eTextbook featuring E Ink Active Matrix Display is designed for the higher education market.
With multi-touch, gesture, and stylus enabled, students have access to the latest curriculum,
including charts, maps, and illustrations. Enabled for taking notes and integrating with
coursework - like tests and quizzes, eTextbooks expand the classroom capabilities without
distracting students.

[ 21 ]


devices at are in stage of implementation are:

Music Stand
12" eTextbook

[ 22 ]

Electronic ink (E Ink) is not intended to diminish or do away with traditional displays. Instead
electronic ink will initially co-exist with traditional paper and display technologies. In the long
run, electronic ink may have a multibillion-dollar impact on the publishing industry. Ultimately
electronic ink will permit almost any surface to become a display, bringing information out of
the of the confines of traditional devices and into the world around us.

[ 23 ]

[i] http://www.eink.com/technology.html
[ii] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_Ink

[ 24 ]