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.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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