The Eastman Kodak Company and Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. have formed a joint venture for manufacturing organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Unlike a discrete LED which has crystalline origins, an OLED is a film-based emitter of light. An OLED display is self-luminous, so it does not require a backlight, weighs less than half of its LCD counterpart, and uses less power. It is also easily patterned for producing flat panel displays. The new technology has thin layers of individual carbon-based elements that emit light when electric current passes through them. A 2.5-inch (measured diagonally) OEL display has 190,000 pixels. Each element or pixel is independently turned on or off, creating multiple colors and fluid, smooth-edged images on the display. And the OLED display won't fade out when the viewer moves from side to side because the viewing angle is 160 deg. The display is readable in bright sunlight and total darkness. The two companies are beginning with a pilot facility this year and graduating to full production in 2003. The displays are designed for use in telephones, cameras, personal digital assistants, and portable entertainment machines. Visit www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/infoImaging/devices_flatPanel.shtml.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.