Thinner is better, or so say thin-film display manufacturers. For this reason, Toshiba Corp. (Tokyo, Japan) developed a reflective, low-temperature poly-silicon thin film transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD). Claiming an industry first, the company says its prototype offers low power consumption, increased mechanical reliability, and high resolution (800 x 600 pixels) in a thin, lightweight package. Targeted towards mobile applications, such as the emerging handheld PC market, the reflective TFT LCD reportedly consumes only 1/4 the power, weighs 1/2 less, and is 1/3 the thickness of a conventional amorphous-silicon backlit TFT LCD. Toshiba reports that shock and vibration characteristics are improved because the LCD driver circuitry is built into the periphery of the glass. Poly-silicon technology allows a smaller pixel pitch by patterning driver circuitry directly onto the glass to support high-resolution levels, alleviating many of the physical limitations imposed on LCDs requiring peripheral driver ICs. Toshiba plans to start mass production of a 8.4-inch reflective TFT LCD panel in the first quarter of 1999. Call: (800) 879-4963.
If you see a hitchhiker along the road in Canada this summer, it may not be human. That’s because a robot is thumbing its way across our neighbor to the north as part of a collaborative research project by several Canadian universities.
Stanford University researchers have found a way to realize what’s been called the “Holy Grail” of battery-design research -- designing a pure lithium anode for lithium-based batteries. The design has great potential to provide unprecedented efficiency and performance in lithium-based batteries that could substantially drive down the cost of electric vehicles and solve the charging problems associated with smartphones.
Robots in films during the 2000s hit the big time; no longer are they the sidekicks of nerdy character actors. Robots we see on the big screen in recent years include Nicole Kidman, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Eddie Murphy. Top star of the era, Will Smith, takes a spin as a robot investigator in I, Robot. Robots (or androids or cyborgs) are fully mainstream in the 2000s.
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