Emerging Technologies

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?
LEDs Provide Dramatic Performance and Energy Savings for Lighting

LEDs Provide Dramatic Performance and Energy Savings for Lighting

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) look great. They have a long lifetime. They are environmentally benign. And if that weren’t enough, LEDs used for displays and illumination save serious amounts of energy compared to the incumbent technology they aim to replace.LEDs consume so much less energy that governments around the world are phasing out the use of incandescent bulbs. The implication of this is huge for energy savings. A new report released by the Department of Energy analyzed market segments where LEDs are competing or are poised to compete with traditional light sources (e.g., incandescent and fluorescent) for general illumination applications, outdoor lighting, and consumer electronic displays. The report findings include the following powerful statistics:
 Let there be light (energy-efficient light that is)!

Let there be light (energy-efficient light that is)!

Several recent newspaper articles called attention to California’s “ban” on inefficient incandescent bulbs. In reality, what took place on January 1, 2011 was the first stage of California’s early implementation of the federal Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), which requires incandescent lamps to be more energy efficient. The standards do not ban the manufacture of traditional incandescent lamps, but do require that they be replaced with more energy-efficient versions that produce as much light as the phased-out lamps.
LED Automation Software: Understanding the Process Through Data is an Important First Step

LED Automation Software: Understanding the Process Through Data is an Important First Step

Previously, I wrote about how LED manufacturers were striving to shorten the time between initiating the LED manufacturing process and measuring their performance in an effort to improve the product yields and possibly even boost LED performance.Certainly one of the keys to making this possible is having rapid access to manufacturing data. There are many ways to gather data for analysis by the process engineers.
Applied Materials

Is Automation Software Useful in LED Manufacturing?

In his blog, James Moyne talked about Applied Materials’ software footprint as it relates to crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar production. James highlighted a specific scenario where advanced process control plays an important role in addressing issues associated with solar cell printing. As this type of technology becomes widely adopted, the c-Si solar industry will collectively improve processes and drive the quality and conversion efficiency of the product to new highs.The LED manufacturing world has an interesting mix of semiconductor technology and c-Si manufacturing practices. This raises the question: can automation software be beneficial—and affordable—for LED production lines? The answer is YES, and I’ll begin to tell you why.
What is Electrochromic Smart Glass?

What is Electrochromic Smart Glass?

Essentially, Electrochromic smart glass (ESG) is high tech glass that can change its properties according to the salient needs of its environment. The glass can be clear, opaque, tinted or colored, has the capability to modulate heat and light transmission and can be used in a variety of applications.