E-paper displays, also known as electronic ink or e-ink displays are displays that mimic the ink on the paper-like surface.

There are a lot of advantages of e-paper display technology and has a few limitations as well, as still, we don’t see them used everywhere.

Before we talk about advantages and disadvantages, let us try to see how they look like, in what shape & size they are available, and how these displays actually work?

Types of e-paper displays?

There are various types of e-paper displays available in the market based on color, shape, size, rigidness, like:

  • Segmented / Graphic
  • Monochrome/ single color, multicolor, full color
  • Rigid and Flexible
  • Rectangular, circular shape
  • Small sizes like 1″, 1.54″ and bugger sizes like 15″ or so

How does e-paper display work?

Watch this 1.5-minute video and you will understand how e-paper display actually works from a high-level point of view.


  • They are very thin in size, available as flexible displays as well
  • Very little power is required to drive them a couple of milliamps. Consumes zero power and the content can stay on the display for days and months without any power. That’s the reason they are popular in portable, low-power applications like watches, Electronic books like Kindle, Shelf-Labels and nowadays finding their way on Bus stop display boards, Shop MENUas well 🙂
  • Easy to read under sunlight.

Disadvantages / Limitations

  • They are still quite expensive, smallest display around 1 square inches size with around 150×150 pixels will cost you about 5$
  • E-paper displays take time(a couple of seconds) to refresh the screen. This can be handled by changing partial display content. Some new displays are now coming which can refresh a couple of times per second but still, they are nowhere compared to other display technologies.

Applications of e-paper display

Some of the use-cases where we see e-paper display getting used are Kindle, the electronic book tabled from Amazon. Other than that many companies are building watches, shop shelf labels, menu boards, etc.

So, have you ever used an e-paper display in any of your projects or are you planning to use one, let me know in the comments below?

If you are building low power embedded systems, list article will be very useful for you.

I hope you found the information useful.

If you like this post, please share it with others. Any suggestions or comments, let me know.

Read my other articles on embedded systems design.

Happy learning to you!

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I am a hobbyist turned engineer, deeply in love with Electronics. Currently working as an embedded systems design consultant. My Blog:

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Pallav Aggarwal

Pallav Aggarwal

I am a hobbyist turned engineer, deeply in love with Electronics. Currently working as an embedded systems design consultant. My Blog:

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