IPS, also known as In-Plane Switching, is a type of monitor display and screen technology. More specifically, an IPS panel is a type of TFT LCD (or “active matrix” LCD). LCD, or Liquid Crystal Display, is the use of light modulating properties from unlit liquid crystals for providing a flat panel or electronic visual display. TFT, which stands for Thin Film Transistor, is an LCD display variant built and marketed for enhanced color, as well as contrast and black levels. The two most common types of TFT LCDs are IPS and TN displays.
The active matrix IPS TFT LCD was developed by Hitachi in 1996 as a solution to the display limitations of TN TFT LCDs (Twisted Nematic) from the late 1980s, which are standard non-IPS LCDs. The TN display is known for its flawed viewing angles, such as inverting colors at extreme angles, and poor color quality. By contrast, IPS displays provide wider viewing angles and higher quality color reproduction by altering pixels to be parallel, rather than perpendicular. In an IPS screen, the liquid crystals run parallel with the panels when energized. In a TN display, the crystals turn perpendicular to the top of the panel.
High-performance tablets and smartphones
deploy IPS display technology because these electronics are commonly used to watch movies, video chat and store photos. The improved angle and color technology features provide an overall better experience for the user. Creative professionals also benefit from an IPS monitor because an IPS LCD that provides a wider color gamut and greater viewing angles help achieve better aesthetic accuracy and superior results.
Other IPS versions include the following technologies:
Super TFT (IPS) for a wide viewing angle
Super-IPS (S-IPS) for color shift free and an improvement on pixel refresh timing
Advanced Super-IPS (AS-IPS) for high transmittance
Enhanced IPS (E-IPS) for an enhanced diagonal viewing angle and reductions in response time
Horizontal IPS (H-IPS) for an improved contrast ratio and an Advanced True White polarizing film that creates a more natural color of white
Professional IPS (P-IPS) for truer color depth