A new Galaxy in the iPad Universe

Left to Right: Samsung's Galaxy Tab; Applied Materials' Tom Takeoka, Energy and Environmental Solutions, Advanced Energy Products with Apple iPad; Applied’s touchpanel equipment solutions.

A key theme at this year’s FPD International/Green Devices 2010 show was touchpanel applications for mobile devices. These shows are incredible because they are the first place to see new and exciting devices—and to actually hold and demo upcoming ‘hot’ devices.

As I worked my way down to the Samsung Mobile Devices booth, a large group had gathered to play with the eagerly awaited Samsung Galaxy Tab.

All I can say is, it’s pretty cool. The color screen is extremely crisp and vivid (illuminated by the latest in LED backlighting). Also, it features email, music and video playback, social networking, photo viewing and web browsing applications, all using the Google Android operating system.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, with its 7” screen, is a truly mobile tablet that can be operated on the run with one hand.

The tablet race is on, and the result is a growing touchpanel market enabled by Applied Materials. The IT research firm Gartner reports projected worldwide tablet sales for 2014 will be 208 million units up from 19.5 million units in 2010.

The growing popularity of the touchpanel technology was evident by the interest in Applied Materials’ Tom Takeoka’s presentation – Applied Materials’ Touch Panel Solutions – which turned out to be the best attended presentation of the day.

Let me briefly explain how touchpanel technology works (a bit of a deep dive, but stay with me, it’s totally worth it so you can whoa your friends). Touch screen technology can be resistive or capacitive. A capacitive touchscreen panel consists of an insulator such as glass, coated with a transparent conductor such as indium tin oxide (ITO). Since humans are also conductors, when we touch the screen surface it results in a distortion of the screen's electrostatic field, measured by a change in capacitance. An X-Y axis is used to determine the location of the touch. The location is then sent to the controller for processing.

Applied Materials’ equipment solutions for touchpanel applications include semiconductor equipment for production of Controller IC’s; AKT’s New Aristo achieves the lowest resistance utilizing dynamic in-line sputtering for the ITO layer.

The Smart Web enables flex touch applications for ITO and SiO2 in roll-to-roll with high productivity, superior process stability and control (requirements for all those high volume market demands for these fun devices).

The AKT PECVD systems are the market leaders providing superior film quality for the active matrix backplane.

To learn more in depth details about our product line-up visit our web site.

Stay tuned, as I continue to provide recaps on this year’s FPD International show.

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