Cutting-Edge LCDs: Your Metal Oxide Questions Answered [Updated]

Cutting-Edge LCDs: Your Metal Oxide Questions Answered [Updated]

[Updated February 13, 2013 because metal oxide backplane technology has improved since the original post was published. See question 7.]There has been a huge amount of interest and discussion around new LCD backplane technologies, particularly about metal oxide. Following on from my first post on the subject last week, I thought it might be useful to answers some of the questions I’ve been hearing most often.1. Amorphous Silicon (a-Si) has been the dominant transistor backplane technology for displays the last 20 years. Why are new technologies necessary?Changes are being driven primarily by the demand for higher resolution and faster refresh rates. The most important transistor parameter is electron mobility. Electron mobility of a-Si is very low (around 1cm2/Vs) and is at the edge of the physical ability to support high refresh rates such as 240Hz for high definition television. (Just in case you need a reminder, as this graphic shows, each transistor is basically an on/off switch that controls each red/green/blue subpixel and 240Hz refers to 240 switches per second.)
Applied Materials

White House Hosts Seminar to Spur Renewable Energy Financing

The U.S. Department of Energy (DoE) hosted a renewable energy tax equity seminar recently at the White House. The seminar was designed to promote private sector investment in tax equity partnerships for solar, wind and other renewable energy projects. Since the 2008 economic crisis, financing available for renewable energy projects has been limited as the renewable tax equity markets have been very slow to recover.
Innovation Transcends National Borders

Innovation Transcends National Borders

The languages were different but the lessons learned were similar. Finding innovative solutions to complex problems requires creatively, experimentation, and teamwork. And, the process of converting a concept – as clever, timely, and intriguing as it may be – to a prototype for public display can be overwhelming. Sometimes a brilliant idea is helped by a ready supply of duct tape, late night calls to mentors, last minute tweaks to wiring systems, and a presentation that includes a bit of theatrical magic!
International World Water Day: Water is a Global Issue

International World Water Day: Water is a Global Issue

In honor of International World Water Day and with the ever-present backdrop of water as a precious, dwindling resource, I couldn’t help but reflect on the innovative technology which has enabled water managers across the world to gain greater insights on regional water resources and distribution. It is encouraging to hear that today’s technology has resulted in more sophisticated and more powerful tools that are improving water distribution, and therefore the way we live.
Cutting-Edge LCDs: What You Need to Know

Cutting-Edge LCDs: What You Need to Know

The display industry is in the middle of one of the most significant technical transitions of the last 20 years and it is also mostly invisible to the average consumer. It has all to do with the advances taking place in transistors – the electronic switches that control the display’s picture, providing clarity and crisp imagery.Every pixel on your LCD screen is turned on or off by a transistor. The complete array of pixel transistors is known as a backplane, as you can see in the graphic. Clearly, the performance of the backplane directly affects the quality of the display for your TV, smartphones and tablet PCs. How fast the switch can be turned on and off refers to the refresh rate and the total number of pixels on the screen equals picture resolution. Today, there are three backplane technologies, which we call amorphous silicon (a-si), low temperature poly-silicon (LTPS) and metal oxide (MO). If you are buying a TV, should you care what transistor technology is in it?
Applied Materials

Energy Efficiency Standards Revisited

There is compelling new evidence that well designed standards for energy consuming products can drive innovation and save consumers enormous amounts of money over the life of those products. This is a thesis that I have expressed support for on more than one occasion.A new report entitled “The Efficiency Boom” is the work of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and a multi-stakeholder group called the Appliance Standards Awareness Project (“ASAP).The report takes a retrospective look at the various energy standards that have been adopted since the 1980s as well as potential new or updated standards in 34 categories (e.g. industrial boilers, dishwashers, microwaves, computers, televisions, lighting fixtures and so on). The energy and dollar savings from these standards are truly impressive.
Applied Materials

A Strong Ethical Foundation is a Competitive Advantage

As Ombudsman, it gives me great pleasure to share an award that has been hard-earned by each and every member of our workforce at Applied Materials. Today, the Company has been named to Ethisphere’s 2012 list of the World’s Most Ethical Companies. Ethisphere is a research-based business ethics institute and recognizes companies that go beyond making statements about doing business ethically and translating those words into action. This is the first year Applied has participated in the application process.
Applied Materials

Applied Materials Celebrates a Decade of Excellence in India

Applied Materials employees and associates gather to form the Applied Materials logo.This month marks an exceptional milestone for the Applied Materials India team; we’ve reached our 10th anniversary in the region — we’ve come a long way since our humble beginnings in 2002! Several key executives, including Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mike Splinter; Chief Financial Officer, George Davis; Executive Vice President and General Manager for the Silicon Systems Group, Randhir Thakur, and Chief Technology Officer, Om Nalamasu, joined us to celebrate our journey and discuss the company’s strategy.
Applied Materials Celebrates Ireland’s Contributions to Science

Applied Materials Celebrates Ireland’s Contributions to Science

Scientists and inventors may not be the first things that come to mind with the upcoming Saint Patrick’s Day holiday. The day is usually associated with four-leaf clovers, leprechauns, performers or food and most importantly green beer. It turns out Ireland has a significant scientific heritage that has produced many top inventors, scientists and innovators who have made great contributions in pioneering new technologies. In honor of the upcoming holiday, Applied Materials would like to take this opportunity to recognize and honor some major Irish figures in the history of science.