Emerging Technologies

Novel Zero-Power Display Technology from Halation Photonics

Novel Zero-Power Display Technology from Halation Photonics

Picture a future where your bathroom mirror doubles as an information resource, displaying the weather forecast and your daily agenda, and where your vision is precisely enhanced by tunable eyeglasses and windshields. This is a future that Halation Photonics aims to enable. Applied Ventures is proud to join Halation as an investor.The majority of mobile devices today use LCD screens. While these displays are certainly a technical marvel, next generation devices will demand higher efficiency displays that consume significantly less power.Unlike traditional displays that require a backlight and a constant power source, Halation’s multi-stable liquid crystal displays do not require any power to hold an image. In this video, Dan Sun, Halation’s chairman and CTO, explains Halation’s innovative technology and some of its applications.More on Halation's technology after the jump.
LED Market Volatility: Prepare Now for Future Growth

LED Market Volatility: Prepare Now for Future Growth

Growth in LED demand—driven by broad adoption of general lighting applications—is expected to come at a fast, furious and sustained pace which analysts predict may last for a few years before the market once again pauses.The way I see it, the current lull in LED market growth actually may be a great opportunity for LED manufacturers: Those who invest in productivity improvements now, while there is still the luxury of time, could potentially benefit significantly and outpace their competitors during the next high growth cycles.
Applied Materials

Life in the Fast Lane – Electric Vehicle Observations

Recently I had the opportunity to use a Nissan Leaf™ for several full days, a much more interesting exercise than a simple test drive. As someone working in the sustainability area, as a co-chair of the California Clean Cars campaign and as a likely car buyer in 2012 (my current vehicle has over 230,000 miles on it) I am very interested in the electric vehicle (EV) market.Nissan’s Leaf™ is among the handful of low emission cars that are presently authorized to carry a Clean Air Vehicle Sticker, entitling a single occupant to use the carpool lanes during rush hours – a very nice side benefit to EV ownership that helped speed my commute this week.My general impression of EV driving is very favorable.
How do Innovations Become Industries?

How do Innovations Become Industries?

 Click on the graphic to expand the image.We’ve all seen it happen many times, especially during major events such as the post-thanksgiving Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday sales: gadgets that were expensively priced for early adopters are suddenly affordable and accessible to the average person, which in turn spur a jump in demand. A 55-inch 3D LED TV, for example, that retailed for more than $3000 USD not too long ago now sells for about $1300 (and it comes with a 3D Blu-ray player and 4 sets of 3D glasses!) Similarly, a respectable laptop PC can cost less than $300 USD these days when they were more than $2000 just a couple years back. My 486 desktop computer used to be two grand! Aside from consumer electronics, we’re seeing similar trends of cost reduction in industries such as solar and LED lighting. A photovoltaic (PV) solar module that used to cost more than $5 per watt five years ago now goes for about $1.50 per watt. LED light bulbs for general lighting sold for more than $40 per bulb in hardware stores two years ago now sell for less than $20, and I am sure they will be comparably priced with today’s CFL bulb in the near future.So how do these incredibly technologically advanced products become so affordable? The answer is technology and scale.
Applied Materials

OLED Displays: Why All The Fuss?

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.
LED MES: Sometimes Less is More

LED MES: Sometimes Less is More

Below is a brief excerpt of my most recent article on LED manufacturing-execution systems in LEDs Magazine. While an MES for LED fabrication offers a vast array of functional possibilities, my advice is to start with an out-of-the-box solution.“Lately we’ve been spending a lot of time with LED manufacturers who are looking to purchase a manufacturing software system. Some already have basic components of a system and want to round out their capability with additional features. Others have some disparate data systems and are looking toward an integrated manufacturing-execution system (MES) to provide some holistic data management, equipment management and manufacturing tracking.There is a lot of easily accessible information available on the Internet, in trade magazines and at conferences and events to help rank MES providers and provide key points to consider during the purchase and implementation processes. This includes advice about handling the potential pitfalls and challenges of MES selection and deployment. However, I’d like to touch on just one very key point that is particularly important to the LED manufacturer: Focus on minimizing customization or feature improvements during initial MES deployment.”
Applied Materials

Heat is a Terrible Thing to Waste

World-wide energy consumption is expected to increase by 40% over the next 20 years, and it is not exactly clear where all this additional energy is going to come from. Equally as puzzling is the surprising fact that most of the energy we produce is lost to the atmosphere as waste heat.So far, there have been very few compelling solutions for capturing this waste heat and turning it back into useable energy.
Applied Materials

LED 150mm: Is this an important inflection point?

A lot more news has been published recently about large LED wafer production. LEDs Magazine reported that Philips Lumileds and Lextar Electronics are now running production on 150-mm wafers and that there is another un-named Asian company using 150-mm sapphire wafers supplied by Rubicon Technology. Rubicon also recently announced the availability of 300-mm Sapphire wafers for LED production. All this makes me think that this is only the first wave in what will be a deluge of announcements for large wafer size production in LED.These announcements got me thinking about the technology that will be required to support production on these larger size wafers. Is there something small wafer manufacturers can leverage to derive some of the benefits of the larger wafers before they actually transition to these in their factories?