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All about In-Plane Switching (IPS)

by Troy Whittle
Published: Last Updated on 65 views

find out what In-Plane Switching is capable of

Everything you need to know about in-plane switching

IPS stands for In-Plane Switching. Everything from televisions, computer monitors, wearable and handheld displays have all started using this technology. But what does it do and why should you consider it for your next display application? Read on to find out.

We’ve been implementing IPS into our LCD products due to the technology’s impressive capabilities. Displays that use IPS provide a noticeably higher viewing experience. In short, in-plane switching changes the behavior of an LCD’s liquid crystals to produce a sharper, more accurate picture that offers significantly improved viewing angles.

A twist on TFT displays

How In-Plane Switching Improves Image Quality

Here’s a quick review of the more technical details: IPS acts on the liquid crystals inside an LCD so when voltage is applied, the crystals rotate parallel (or in-plane) allowing the light to pass through them and provide a much clearer image. This technique greatly improves the viewing experience compared to standard TFT displays with TN panels.

In-Plane Switching in action

More Colors, Wider Viewing Angles, and Improved Contrast

The difference that IPS makes is easy to see. Notice the image quality between the standard TN TFT on the left and an IPS TFT on the right.

IPS delivers higher quality images from wide angles while preserving their colors and contrast. This means you can look at an IPS screen from nearly any angle and easily view whatever is being displayed. Colors on these displays don’t get washed out or distorted so you’ll have a high-quality viewing experience no matter what angle you’re viewing the screen from.

Use the slider to compare the brightness and viewing angles.

Comparison image (TN TFT screen vs IPS TFT screen)Comparison image (TN TFT screen vs IPS TFT screen)

why use In-plane switching?

How IPS will improve your LCD Display

Widest Viewing Angles

TN LCDs often struggle to display accurate images from wide viewing angles. IPS LCDs eliminate nearly all color distortion and fading when viewed from various angles.

Accurate Color Representation

The powerful technology of In-Plane Switching delivers the most vivid, true colors available on any TFT LCDs. IPS is capable of producing over 16 million colors.

Direct Sunlight Visibility

The powerful backlight combined with unparalleled viewing angles and colors makes for the best image quality under direct sunlight. IPS displays deliver higher quality images in sunny conditions better than TN LCDs or OLED displays.

before you buy

consider this before choosing an IPS display

This isn’t to say that IPS is a one-size-fits-all solution for every display application. Like everything else, there are drawbacks that you may encounter with IPS. Things to consider:

Conclusion

Should you choose a display with in-plane switching?

As IPS technology continues to advance, you’ll see it integrated into more display applications. Because of in-plane switching’s ability to boost viewing angles and retain color accuracy, it allows LCDs to compete with the high contrast images found on OLED displays.

If you don’t require the highest refresh rates and don’t mind slightly higher power consumption, then an IPS display will greatly benefit your project. 

Keep reading to learn more about the other LCD screen types and see how they compare to IPS. 

Watch: 7.0" IPS TFT displays

See a demo of our own 7” IPS TFTs as we compare their colors, contrast, and viewing angles to TN TFT displays.

Learn more about display technology in our Knowledge Center.

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