At the FPD International 2011 show touchpanel applications were everywhere. While the focus was on mobility devices such as smartphones and tablet PC’s; evidence was everywhere that touch is moving to larger applications soon, such as interactive “smart” TV and even a new cool app called “appliance veneer glass” — I’ll describe this in more detail in an upcoming blog post. All of the exhibitors with new mobility device displays touted high resolution and low power consumption as key features.
These days, staying connected to the ones you love or work with is as easy as the touch of a button and the swipe of your finger. It’s hard to image a time without cell phones, without Wi-Fi or god forbid Facebook, let alone the internet all together. Today we have more than 5 billion internet-connected devices, with an expected 22 billion by 2020. And we owe it in part to the ingenuity of two young academics at UCLA and Stanford Research Institute (SRI) who back in 1969 connected two computers for the first time, sparking what would lead to today’s age of connectivity as we now know it and changing the way we live and play.
Active matrix organic light-emitting diode (AMOLED) displays have been available on high-end smartphones for a while now, and there has been a lot of speculation about when we’ll start to see tablet devices equipped the same screen technology. I would like to take a closer look at why AMOLED technology is so hotly anticipated.
OLED displays use an alternative pixel-lighting mechanism compared to liquid crystal display (LCD) - a mechanism that is simpler in concept and offers advantages over LCD, but introduces numerous technological challenges that display manufacturers are working to overcome.
Just this year, we have seen a virtual explosion of touch panel growth fueled by the world’s seemingly insatiable appetite for touch-enabled devices. It is hard to say whether this growth will be tempered or continue amidst the promise of even greater adoption of mobility devices and invention of new “must have” products. In either case, touch technology is now a permanent member of the flat panel display family.
I marvel at how the industry has evolved over the past few years. Three years ago, I had the opportunity to take a position as Head of our Web Products Group in Germany (the group that makes our roll-to-roll vacuum deposition tools). At that time we strengthened our focus on Flexible Electronics, looking at opportunities in flexible solar, displays, printed circuit boards and several different transparent conductor-based applications including touch screen elements. Ironically, the team had already been addressing this market for years, with sales of roll-to-roll sputtering tools for indium tin oxide (ITO) since the early 1980s, but it had remained relatively small and stable due to modest annual growth in resistive touch technology.
Dow Jones recently reported on the future of tablet and smartphone displays. As the leading equipment supplier to the display industry, Applied Materials was called on to lend comment to the trends and technologies that will be driving the industry in the coming years.
MEMS – microelectromechanical systems – is a fascinating field. Containing microscopic moving parts such as gears, springs and valves, MEMS devices power some of our greatest gadgets – video game controllers, smartphones and navigation systems, to name just a few.
In this video, Applied’s Michel Rosa explores the workings of a MEMS accelerometer and discusses some of the fabrication challenges that must be overcome to make these devices accurate, repeatable and affordable.
If you would like to learn more about how MEMS devices are made, click here.
Faster, smarter and greener than anything that’s gone before. There’s new technology that’s changing the way chips are made, enabling manufacturers to build processing powerhouses for the mobile devices of the future.
It’s becoming incredibly challenging for the industry to shrink chip features to continually deliver higher levels of performance and battery life. Of course, we’ve been saying that for years, but the semiconductor industry always finds a way to extend Moore’s Law, bending the laws of physics in our favor. Today, our customers are working on chips with transistors less than 20nm across: A million of them would fit into the area of the period at the end of this sentence.
Mike Splinter appeared on Bloomberg's "Street Smart" to discuss fourth quarter earnings and what future technology trends bode well for the company. The full-length interview can be found on Bloomberg's YouTube channel.