Sharp and Microsoft both use metal-mesh ITO-replacement touch panels

September 19, 2013

I just came back from Touch Taiwan 2013 and the associated International Display Manufacturing Conference (IDMC). With about 400 exhibitors at the show, it was certainly very hot, just like the weather in Taipei.

I had a chance to touch both Sharp and Microsoft’s large size touch panel in Touch Taiwan. Both use metal mesh type ITO-replacement material on their touch panel.

Figure. Sharp metal mesh touch panel (left) and Microsoft metal mesh touch panel (right)

Sharp metal mesh touchMicrosoft metal mesh

Photo: Jennifer Colegrove, Touch Display Research Inc., 2013.

Sharp showcased a series of 20”, 32” and 70” touch panels and claim they have very high performance due to the high SNR (signal noise ratio). Microsoft’s 55” touch demo was showcased in Corning’s booth, as they used Corning’s Gorilla Glass as the cover lens.

Touch Display Research believes that metal-mesh type materials have high conductivity and could fit best on large-sized projected capacitive touch panels. We forecast the ITO-replacement market will grow to about $4 billion by 2020.

Which companies are supplying metal-mesh type transparent conductor? What’s their manufacturing process?  What’s the market share of metal-mesh vs. silver nanowire vs. carbon nanotube vs. conductive polymer vs. graphene? More analysis can be found in our ITO-replacement report and the Touch and Emerging Display monthly report.

Thanks for reading,

Jennifer and team