Conventional reflective displays based on either color filter/polarizer or stacked color layers suffer from their marginal performance in terms of brightness, color, and cost. In this paper, we will present new full-color reflective display architecture: Electrically Tunable Color (ETC). In this display architecture, both color generation and its change are through the coupling of a cholesteric liquid crystal in its planar state and an in-plane electric field. Unlike the conventional cholesteric liquid crystal display, in which one liquid crystal layer only reflects one preset color, in ETC the in-plane field that is predominantly normal to the helix unwinds the helix to result a color shift from its initial color. We have fabricated such devices in our laboratory and demonstrated large color change covering all three primary colors with a single ETC pixel. Another advantage of ETC is its faster time response. Time response data will be presented and compared with model. Switching voltages depend much on cell parameters, in particular on the electrode configuration. Measured switch voltage vs. these parameters will be shown and challenging issue in voltage reduction will be discussed. Finally, we will propose full-color display architectures based on ETC and analyze their cost/performance.© (2002) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.