Kerry has been in the Display marketing group for 10 years and is in charge of Display product sales for North America and Europe. Kerry also supports Display marketing communications activities from Santa Clara, California.
I’m delighted to share that Applied Materials is being recognized by the renowned engineering authority IEEE with the 2013 Corporate Innovation Award for the company’s leadership in innovative plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition technology for flat panel display manufacturing.
Why is a smartphone like a hummingbird? Neither can go more than a few hours without refueling, or bad things happen. (If you answered that smartphone owners are often forced to flutter around looking for a power outlet, I’ll accept that, too.)
Do you know where the power goes? As the graphic shows, around half your battery is spent on the display alone. And of that, the vast majority is used simply to power the backlight that all LCDs need. (The situation for AMOLED displays is similar, but for different reasons. That’s a subject for a future blog.)
Clearly, improving the power efficiency of the display is a powerful way to improve battery life. Turning the brightness down isn’t a helpful strategy. Indeed, we expect displays to be brighter and richer all the time, but not at the expense of already limited battery life. (Bigger batteries would also work, but the market has spoken on that one. Slim is in!)
How is this to be accomplished? Find out after the jump.
With 15 years of experience in the Display industry at Applied Materials, I have witnessed firsthand the dynamic advances that have taken place in display technologies. But as remarkable as these advances have been; the excitement and promise of displays are their ability to allow for the interaction of the shared human experience.
Last Friday marked one of the great anniversaries in the history of live broadcast television, so I thought I’d take this opportunity to reflect on this moment in time and briefly describe the giant leaps made in display technology over the last 40 years.
[Updated February 13, 3013 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 LCDbackplane 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.)
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 amorphoussilicon (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?
The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) as usual was crazy big, and with a few key exceptions (Apple comes to mind; everyone flocked to Las Vegas to demonstrate the latest gadgets and gizmos including, the latest display products. These included mobile devices - both smart phones and tablet PCs; notebook computers and TVs.
The goal of this post is to help you better understand industry terminology and highlight the latest products at this year’s CES enabled by Applied’s display technology.
Left to Right: Appliance with Veneer glass; 75” Smart 3-D TV by Samsung; AUO’s 32” Metal Oxide TFT OLED; 85” 8K4K Super Hi Vision by Sharp.
At this year’s FPD International show the displays on exhibit were larger, thinner, of higher resolution, smarter, touchable and energy efficient. In this blog post I’ll attempt to give you a glimpse into the latest and greatest display technology I saw on exhibit at the show.
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.
Applied Materials’ is at FPD International in Yokohama, Japan this week from October 26-28, presenting the theme “Enabling an Interactive Visual World.” Prominently featured at this year’s show is the AKT-20KPX PECVD system for high mobility backplanes driving smartphones and tablet PC’s and the Aristo Twin PVD for touch panel applications.
The 2002 hit movie, Minority Report is the ultimate precursor for the use of touch panel displays today. As you may remember, Tom Cruise’s character is being blamed for a pre-crime that he has not yet committed and manages to stay one step ahead of the police using a multitude of touch panel displays as a control center dashboard with information at the touch of a finger.
Today’s reality is not so far removed from this promise of touchscreen technology. Smart phones and tablet PCs are the most prolific applications for touch panel today. A touch interface allows one to interact directly with a display without the use of a keyboard or mouse and is an enabling technology for the mobile display market which will have sales of around 60 million tablets and 500 million smartphones out of a total of close to 1.7 billion mobile phones in 2011 according to published reports. Almost all tablets and smartphones have touch displays, and touch panel penetration in conventional mobile phones will surpass 50% by 2014.
Tom Edman, vice president and general manager of Applied Materials' Display Business Group, discusses the enormous growth in demand for mobile computing devices and the quantum leap in mobility made possible by touch panel technology as well as the company's latest manufacturing technology - the Applied AKT Aristo Twin.
It is likely you did not hear about the latest exploits of Charlie Sheen or the recent natural disasters from the evening news on television or from the newspaper. You probably did not buy Lady Gaga’s latest CD at a record store. It is more likely that you are participating in a new wave of information sharing – social networking and media downloading – these are driving demand for mobile devices such as smart phones and tablet PC’s . We refer to this latest shift as the “fourth wave” of demand expansion in the thin film transistor liquid crystal displays (TFT-LCD) industry.
The history of the cyclical expansion of the TFT-LCD display industry centers on the introduction of popular new display applications that were enabled by ever larger sheets of glass. The first wave being the laptop PC in the mid-1990’s; the desktop monitor in early 2000 and large area TFT-LCD TV’s in the mid-2000’s.
The fourth wave is driven by nothing less than the complete transformation of how we buy music; how we read books; how we get the news; how we watch video, television, movies; and how we socially interact with each other.