Seeing in the dark
Sharp Microelectronics' 3.5-inch transflective TFT-LCD display (LQ035Q7DB02) offers viewability in bright- or low-light conditions. Traditionally, low-power, reflective LCDs provide bright, high-contrast displays in high-light conditions, but lack luminance in low-light locations. "One design challenge is how to make displays that don't wash out in bright sunlight," says Joel Pollack, VP of Sharp's Display Business Unit. Kiosks, point-of-sale terminals (as in storefront windows), and automotive applications often face this challenge. A reflective display bounces ambient sunlight off the viewer's eye, but when that same display is used inside, it needs something extra. So when this screen moves into low light, it switches to operation as a backlit, transmissive LCD. The display module is 4.5 mm thick, and weighs 50g. It ships with an integrated plastic touch panel, which also makes it appropriate for rugged applications. And it has no inverter, so it avoids EMI problems. It's designed for ultra-low power consumption and good viewability for next-gen mobile products, such as PDAs, barcode scanners, gaming and GPS devices, portable patient monitoring, and test and measurement equipment.
Sharp Microelectronics: Enter 515
Design a brighter screen
If you build flat-panel LCD desktop monitors, you need lighting. The new SolidState CCFL backlight assembly for 15-inch monitors can provide it. This assembly from Global Lighting Technologies (GLT, Brecksville, OH) uses the company's MicroLens technology, in which light-extraction features are molded into the panel. It boosts lighting efficiency by customizing up to 30,000 optical features per square inch2, allowing screen designers to reduce the number of light management films and still increase brightness up to 25%, the company says.
Global Lighting Technologies Inc.: Enter 516
Paradise for dashboard lights
Automotive designers are always looking for better dashboard lighting. Now Optrex Corp. (Japan) has licensed technology from Eastman Kodak to build an organic light-emitting diode (OLED) for use in flat-panel, passive matrix displays. The method is also known as organic electroluminescence, and makes a bright display that's visible from wide angles, has low power consumption, thin design, and variable brightness to match changing conditions.
Optrex: Enter 517
Bring on the HDTV
Samsung calls its SyncMaster 211MP and 241MP displays "four-in-one" tools, each able to act as a flat-panel computer monitor, full-featured television with tuner, video monitor with DVD or VCR inputs, and HDTV-ready screen. Both use the company's Patterned Vertical Alignment (PVA) technology to boost the four viewing attributes of LCD screens: viewing angle (up to 170°), brightness, contrast, and response time (less than 25 msec.). A user can toggle between inputs using a remote or buttons at the base of the screen. And when needed, the monitor can split into two images, showing different pictures side-by-side. That makes these displays appropriate for use in professional video editing or animation, says Ian Miller, Samsung's director of technology for displays. He noted the progression of response times from 70-80 msec. in recent memory, to 50 msec. three years ago, to this machine's sub-25 msec. He promised that Samsung would soon release a machine with a 12 msec response time—it's still in development, but he recently got the first silicon back from engineers.
Samsung: Enter 518