IBM claims it has developed the world's clearest computer display technology which produces a picture 12 times sharper than that seen on current monitors.
Boasting more than nine million pixels on a 22in screen, the new display is as clear as an original photograph and 4.5 times sharper than high-definition television screens, claimed Big Blue.
The company said that the technology could eventually be used in laptops, desktops and handheld devices. However, initial applications will include telemedicine, weather forecasting, publishing, graphic design and satellite mapping.
The first units will be shipped to the Lawrence Livermore Labs in the US, where it will be used in the Department of Energy's Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative, a project that is studying the operation and ageing of nuclear weapons using 3D simulations.
David Cooper, associate director at the Labs, said: "To study the data properly, we need to view and understand 3D visual models. The resolution offered by the IBM display makes that possible on the desktop."
Analysts had believed that mass production of such displays was more than 10 years away, but IBM has drastically undercut that estimate. It has been working on the technology since 1995, both in the US and Japan.
Big Blue plans to ship the display to end users in 2001 and license the patented technologies to other manufacturers.
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