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Japan Display crams over 33 million pixels into 17-inch display

It seems amazing that just a few short years ago 1080p HD was considered the holy grail of display technology. While that is very much the standard today, 4K TVs and monitors are beginning to proliferate and there is already talk of much more detailed screens arriving before long. Indeed, Japan Display,  a joint LCD technology venture between Sony, Toshiba, and Hitachi, is claiming to have created an 8K resolution display in a panel that’s just 17.3 inches diagonally.

Although Japan Display is calling this monitor an “8K4K” display, it has a resolution of 7,680 × 4,320 pixels, which is the same as native 8K resolutions. What’s perhaps more impressive though, is that it is able to achieve this super high resolution and still output at a 120 Hz refresh rate.

The only difficulty will be that even the latest HDMI 2.0 standard is only capable of outputting a resolution up to 4,096 × 2,160p. In some cases it has proved possible to do that at 120Hz, but considering how much more data needs to be transferred with an 8K stream versus a 4K one, delivering that (at 120Hz no less) may well require an entirely new connection standard too.

Related: Forget 4K, LG’s 98-inch 8K TV is the window into the future we’ve been waiting for

That’s not to mention the graphics cards that this would take to run any sort of real-time rendered scene at that sort of resolution.

Still, we have faith that they’ll figure it out, as gamers are likely to be one of the biggest markets for such a display. Medical schools and hospitals, where detail is paramount, are another, though 8K may be more than is necessary for most scenarios.

The other big area of potential for small, high-detail displays like this is virtual reality. With such high resolutions, distinguishing individual pixels is only possible from very close up, so if Japan Display can shrink this screen down to six inches or so, it would be perfect for a head-mounted display.

With decent graphics, that sort of display would render a virtual scene that would be nearly indistinguishable from reality.