The Beginner’s Guide to In-Plane Switching (IPS) Displays

Nov 4, 2021

Have you heard of in-plane switching (IPS) displays? Display devices are found everywhere. They consist of TVs, computer monitors, smartphone screens, human machine interfaces (HMIs) and other electronics that display images. While there are many different types of displays, IPS displays have become increasingly popular.

What Is an IPS Display?

An IPS display is a type of display device that uses a specific form of liquid-crystal display (LCD) technology. All LCD technologies, of course, are characterized by the use of liquid pixels. LCDs feature pixels consisting of liquid organic material. An IPS display is a type of display device that features these same liquid pixels but with a few notable differences.

IPS vs Standard LCD Technology

While they both involve the use of liquid pixels, IPS and standard LCD aren’t the same. IPS is a specific type of LCD technology in which the liquid pixels are aligned parallel to the glass panels.

IPS displays consist of multiple layers. The top layer is a glass panel. Below this top layer is a pixel layer that contains the liquid pixels. And below the pixel layer is another glass panel. The pixels in the middle layer are aligned parallel to the glass panels. It’s known as an “in-plane” pixel orientation. More importantly perhaps, the pixels can change their orientation in response to an electrical field.

Benefits of IPS Displays

Now that you know the basics of IPS displays, you might be wondering what benefits they offer. When compared to standard LCDs, IPS displays offer wider viewing angles. The viewing angle is the angle at which you can see the images on a display device. Some display devices have a narrow viewing angle, meaning you’ll have to sit or stand directly in front of them to see the images. IPS displays are recognized for their wide viewing angle, meaning you can view the images while sitting or standing to the side.

Another benefit of IPS displays is protection from touch-based tailing. Tailing is a phenomenon that occurs when you touch a display device. If you touch a standard LCD, you may notice distorted colors that adversely affect the device’s images. Known as tailing, it’s a common with standard LCDs. IPS displays, however, don’t suffer from tailing. This makes IPS displays a popular choice for touchscreen applications.

IPS displays have fast refresh rates. Refresh rate is the speed at which a display device can change its image. With fast refresh rates, IPS displays produce fluid images with less blur.

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