Friday, June 15, 2012

The view from Display Week: Kyocera’s new display fab technologies

June 15, 2012 -- Display Week, a conference and exhibition hosted by the Society for Information Display (SID) this month in Boston, was a chance for Kyocera, newly Kyocera Display Corporation, to highlight a range of display technologies, with varying performance and price points. I spoke with Bill Hanna, VP of automotive sales for the Americans and Jessica He, marketing manager, at Kyocera's booth.

Kyocera produces all the components for their displays, with thin-film transistor (TFT) and low-temperature polysilicon (LTPS) liquid crystal display (LCD) processing lines. Kyocera’s LTPS LCD technology offers significantly higher carrier (electron & hole) mobility than amorphous silicon, resulting in a higher pixel density, wider viewing angles, higher resolution on smaller screens, a slimmer form factor with lighter weight (due to integration of CMOS drivers on the panel), faster response time and reduced power consumption, the company says. While Kyocera is turning to LTPS for some applications, not every display needs to transition from TFT LCD. Many customers are asking for touchscreen functionality, which Kyocera offers in low- and high-volume assembly.

One of Kyocera’s new technologies, Super Wide View (SWV), offers an 85 degree viewing angle top/bottom and left/right thanks to new materials and structure replacing traditional twisted nematic (TN). SWV aligns the liquid crystal cells in a horizontal direction, In-Plane-Switching, so that the crystal molecules spin in parallel to the panel plane instead of perpendicular to it, reducing the amount of light scattering in the matrix, Kyocera reports. Applications range from industrial to medical and automotive. See a comparison of SWV and TN displays below.

Kyocera's displays are used in many automotive applications, and the company featured a round 2.5” display at the booth. The unique glass design fits nicely into automotive consoles, but is more challenging to cut than a typical panel. Other considerations for automotive? Form factor, and high light output for a start, Hanna said.

Kyocera Display also highlighted its new Direct Glass Bonding Technology that laminates a protective glass overlay or a touch screen on the top of the display. It reduces light reflection by 70% when compared to a conventional bonding process. Displays used outdoors are generally covered with protective films to prevent water damage and scratches. However, this creates an air gap on top of the LCD, causing the display to become less visible and creates color shift due to the glare on the surface, Kyocera says. Kyocera Display’s new glass bonding technology improves readability with lower reflection, more intense blacks, and more accurate colors. A glass-glass (GG) structure brings the polarizer on top, reducing the inner reflection from the LCD surface. It is very compatible with In-Plane-Switching.

Finally, we took a look at Kyocera's value line, with lower optical performance and lower price points. These designs are supporting the general move to display technology in everything from white goods to high-volume/low-cost consumer products. The line launched in 2011 and Kyocera is expanding it with ten new products. The products still offer LED backlights, slim bezels, and low weight and power consumption, with good display performance.

Read more about Display Week in these articles:

-- Meredith Courtemanche, digital media editor,

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