SparkFun Forums 

Where electronics enthusiasts find answers.

Have a good idea for a new product for SFE or Olimex? Let us know!
By threepointone
I've always been able to find stuff that a DIYer like me can't obtain anywhere else at sparkfun, so I thought I'd just take a chance at this. Is there any way that maybe you could find some way to make those e-ink displays available for experimentation? They seem to be getting a bit more popular and available than they had been, now that the amazon kindle is out.
By corvette123
eink has a development kit.

but its tooo expensive hahaha

like 3000 bucks!!! ouch


dunno where to buy just the tablet sized panels that would be nice.
By corvette123
yah i was looking also for a cheap one..

doesnt seem to have a cheap one out yet.

hmm development kit??

how about buying one and taking it apart hahahah


thats cheap.!
By Pyrofer
I bought the Motorola motofone with e-Ink display.

It has a VERY basic e-ink display that has dual controller chips running a multi segment display.
Its SPI input and faily easy to dismantle, but ive not worked out theconnector pinout yet.
By corvette123
there is also a clock with an e ink display i have seen somewhere......

u can google for it..

but that should be a little bigger to work with.


although the display might be more fixed with digits, i think it is a specialized e ink display just for that unit... but im not sure..

just some ideas however...
By moonmoon
can u give me the link?
By teekay_tk
Last edited by teekay_tk on Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
By clothbot
Has anyone at SparkFun tried approaching Plastic Logic re. availability of the displays for their upcoming e-reader?
By rgbphil
I can't imagine why dialog has an issue with IP....the Esquire magazine flap a couple of months ago has shown how easy these displays are to use.....just put an electric field top and bottom of some eink capsules and wait, no major drama there.

The problem for hobbyists is that you need some sort of transparent electrode on top, and electrodes on the bottom in contact with the eink. I was hoping when the Esquire mag came out that you could re-use the top electrode and put your own PCB on the bottom, but apparently this meant delaminating the film, and destroying the film in the process (resulting in gooey eink capsules everywhere. It appears that the field wont penetrate an existing bottom electrode and needs contact. Don't know if anyone has tried putting a massive electric field through the bottom film.

If eink just put out a range of dotmatrix films, with electrodes going one way on top and the other way on the bottom even at a big pitch like an LCD alpha display (eg 0.5mm or larger) then we'd be happy. Not everyone needs 200dpi eink displays for ebooks. A simple shiftregister is all thats needed to drive it, that's all the Esquire mag used. They could manufacture sizes from small gadget size to A4 without major cost. Eink would get into everything that needs a low update rate display like weather stations, advertising displays, gadgets whatever. It'd be a licence to print money.

Perhaps they have a cross licencing deal with driver chip manufactures forbidding them from selling films without a chip attached...please explain Eink if your listening.

If they think hobbyists could reverse engineer the eink capsule manufacturing process....they must think very highly of our chemical skills, have you had a peek at the patent applications for the electrophoretic capsule manufacturing process? brain hurts.

By Pyrofer
If somebody could just find a way to seperate the bottom layer of the esquire display we could at least create our own segmented display!

Somebody with chemical experience needs to find how to dissolve the solvent and remove the bottom layer without damaging the rest. VERY hard.

I aggree, eink should produce simple matrix displays (panels?) and they would be very popular!

I can see them appearing on clocks, weather stations, virtual post its, mouse pad 2nd pc displays, phone screens.

I think the problem is that without an active matrix driver built in then simple matrix displays rapidly become a nightmare to do anything with. even an 8x8 element display becomes hard to drive. The controller/driver count would be a nightmare until specialist controller ics appeared, and they would have FAR too many connections.

Even something as small as the nokia 3310 display has 48x86 pixels, thats a HUGE amount of connections to a pile of driver ICs.

As sad as it is, the more i think of this the more improbably a matrix panel seems. The best you could hope for is a part laminated display with the clear conductor that let you place it onto your own pcb etched with your own segment layout.

I can see why its available only the way it is. Its a shame, but the more i think about it the more I understand eink and doubt the hobby side of things will get much in e-ink until the displays get mass produced with drivers onboard like the nokia phone displays.

Lets face it, its only the HUGE demand for quantity in phone screens that has enabled us to get our hands on some pretty damn sweet lcds.