As smartphone screen size demand continues to favor larger designs, the display technology is equally another competition in the smartphone screen market. The rivalry between LCD screens and the new OLED screens is always in the news.

LCD display has always been with us and has offered great efficiency in the screen display technology.

 

The OLED Display And LCD Technology

Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) and Organic Light-emitting Diode (OLED) display technologies are two strong competitors in the smartphone screen market. While LCD technology creates its images via a backlight that sends light via many layers of filters, OLED displays do not require the backlight mechanism. It is a much simpler and thinner display. Pixels are used to emit the green, red and blue color filters required for an image. OLED is a newer technology with much flexibility, durability and presents some unique features. The image retention feature of the OLED is the downside to this new technology and why it is not suitable for TVs.

LCD has however added innovation to its design by incorporating the great features flexibility and simplicity which OLED boasts of in some of its new production plans by manufacturers such as Samsung and Japan Display.

LG In The Market

LG Display, Apple’s smartphone screen supplier, in 2015 announced they will be spending about $8.4 billion on future display technology including flexible displays, OLED, and high-end LCD screens.

The CEO of LG Display sees the Chinese companies catching up with South Korean dominated LCD market not too long from now.

By 2020, the hope is having a 27% of the total LCD manufacture, rising from its 16% production capacity as stated by LG Display.

Sharp Hoping To Turn Things Around

Sharp, a major manufacturer of LCD screens has not been active in the market after losses recorded in the previous years before 2017. With a rebranding upcoming, Sharp has declared to pull away from LCD TV screen production of Japan in 2018.

Sharp hopes to go with the latest trend to prelaunch itself back into the display technology market.

The Japan display’s Loss Due To Competition In The Smartphone Screen

Japan Display, a top LCD smartphone screen maker made up of top electronic giants like Sony, Toshiba and Hitachi recently announced a cut in their workforce by 30%. The obvious reason is the 31.5 billion yen loss incurred in the last business quarter of April to June 2017. The impact of the competition from top companies like Samsung, LG, and Sharp is no doubt something to take seriously in the screen manufacturing market.

OLED screen is the new baby in the smart screen market. Japan Display failed to enter this market early enough allowing the likes of Samsung and LG to dominate with major big contract signing with Apple.

The New Technology In OLED Display And The Market Prospects

OLED screen is thinner and lighter compared to other display technologies. You can bend and fold it, giving it that flexibility feature and it is more durable.

LG Display is focused on manufacturing large screen OLED screens for TVs and LCDs for smaller screens like in smartphones. Samsung leads in the manufacture of OLED screens while the likes of LG are playing the catch-up. Samsung is at the forefront of dominance in the use of OLED screen for smartphones. It started in this line with its Galaxy smartphones. It has gone a step further in adopting curved OLED screens in Galaxy Edge groups of smartphones.

LG Display plans to get into mass production of flexible display from 2018 with about $1.8 billion investment into the flexible display in the coming year. A large screen size of the 5.7-inch dimension is the focus.

The company hopes to have 3 million handsets/month production capacity of flexible screens.

Television sets use to be bulky, heavy and energy consuming before the advent of the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) technology. LCD TVs are slim, lightweight and can be hung on walls. TVs are much like laptops now with flat screens.

This is made possible with the adoption of the LCD display technology that has long been used on our digital watches and calculators.

The Smectic phase is when the liquid crystals are cooled.

The Uniqueness Of Liquid Crystals

Liquid crystals are substances that fall between a solid and liquid material. It can be described to be an extension of the three states of matter because it is not any of those three. Just like states of matter, it can be in any of the two states it is commonly found with.

The Nematic phase is the state where it is more in the liquid state, where molecules move freely past each other along the same direction. The Smectic phase is when the liquid crystals are cooled. The molecules here form layers that are capable of sliding past each other.

LCD displays are implemented by utilizing the power of liquid crystals and polarized light.

The Working Principle Of LCD

LCD displays are implemented by utilizing the power of liquid crystals and polarized light. The images or pictures displayed on the LCD TV screen results from millions of pixels. Each pixel is a unique red, green or blue light that is switched OFF or ON to produce the picture that is seen in front of the screen.

In addition to plasma screen mode of operation, in LCD screens, the pixels get switched off or on electronically by using liquid crystals which rotates polarized light.

Applying electricity to Nematic liquid crystal straightens it out from its initial twisted-up form. This is the switching on and off process.

Polarised Light And Liquid Crystal And Composition Of The Technique

LCD screens work on a principle where the backlight is required for image display on the screen. At the back of the screen, there is a bright light which shines toward the viewer. At the front of this are the millions of pixels and sub-pixels colored blue, red and green. All pixels have polarizing glass filter at the back and another in front at 90-degrees. This makes the pixels to always appear dark.

In the midst of the two polarizing filters is the minute twisted nematic liquid crystal that untwists and twists (On and Off) through electronic means.

Each of the pixels is controlled separately by a transistor that is capable of switching it off or on several times per second.

Switching Off And On

When the nematic crystals are switched off, light passing through it is rotated at 90 degrees, giving way for light to flow pass the two polarizing filters. This makes the pixel brighter. On switching on the crystal, it does not rotate the light that is blocked by one of the two polarizers. Here the pixel appears dark.

Each of the pixels is controlled separately by a transistor that is capable of switching it off or on several times per second.

Switching On Procedure

  • The backlight of the screen shines
  • Apart from vibrating horizontal light waves, all other light waves are blocked by the horizontal polarizing filter in front of the shining light.
  • Only horizontally vibrating light waves get through.
  • The transistor switches on the pixel when electricity flow in the liquid crystal is switched off. This results in a twisted crystal. The resulting twisted crystal rotates by 90 degrees the light waves as they go past it.
  • The horizontally vibrating light waves that pass through the crystal come out vibrating horizontally.
  • All light waves are blocked by vertically polarizing filter except the ones vibrating vertically. The vibrating vertical light is now able to pass through vertical filters.
  • The pixel brightens up. The blue, red or green filters give the color of the pixel.

Just as governments are pressing on companies to manufacture eco-friendly technologies in their products, consumers of electronic products are yearning for low cost and small-sized devices. This requirement keeps driving the innovation that is seen in the new technologies of microelectronics.

Emerging technologies in microelectronics have a strong potential of efficiency in this area thus creating lots of opportunities in different areas of applications in electronics using microelectronics.

Here are the top ten trusted microelectronic technologies you should know about.

 1. Flexible Electronics

Flexible electronics is a promising and emerging industry that is hoped to have a stronger impact on the electronic industry in the nearer future. For flexible electronics which can also be described as lightweight implementation, they have good potential to create flexible electronics products such as in lighting, displays, memory storage and sensors, among others. The technology presented by flexible electronics makes it possible to easily implement new applications that were sometimes not feasible to attain before now. This includes applications such as smart textiles and informative human interfaces.

2. 3D Integration

 The 3D integration technology refers to various applications. The technology allows several traditional device layers to be placed on stacks and interconnected electronically. As an emerging technology, the trend is its support for more functional and powerful devices that are smaller and of low cost. Stacking of many layers of a device can improve performance of the circuit and lower power consumption. The 3D integration principle provides manufacturers the flexibility to combine other heterogeneous devices into a single circuit.

3. Haptic & Touch

The touch technology has brought a new approach to interacting with our devices. This allows human-computer relationship using various physical contacts with a device such as gestures and touch.

The major applications of this technology are in consumer electronics, medical, automotive, in industry and in-home automation.

4. Advanced Display

 The ever-dynamic digital content of today in addition to the growth of portable devices, is a strong influence to the shift towards modern display technologies like LCD display, 3D displays, on mobile phones, cameras and on computers.

These technologies have enhanced performance, great color gamut, faster response, better image quality and low power consumption. This gives a good user experience for viewers in contrasts to conventional designs.

5. Smart Grids

A smart grid provides an electricity network which intelligently integrates all actions of users linked to it, that is, the generators and the consumers. This is in a bid to deliver economical, secure and sustainable supplies. A smart grid creates enhancement in grid reliability by cutting down on the rate of power outages and the amount of power quality inadequacies.

With various sources of power generation such as solar and wind generation to switch to, smart grid provides a seamless integration for the alternative sources of energy.

6. Green Electronics

The push by the government for green manufacturing is a driver to the innovations in microelectronics for product design.

Production are tailored towards energy efficiency, green and clean solutions. This technology incorporates power saving capability, eco-friendliness such as reduced carbon emissions using microelectronics.

7. Wireless Charging

The use of electric cars and adopting smart devices are motivation for advancement in microelectronic technology.

Wireless charging of automotive device and electronics are possibilities through microelectronics. Companies are gearing up to fully adopting wireless charging methods.

8. Smart Antennas

Smart connection devices have opened up the manufacture of other smart application.

Communication via smart devices such as antennas is made feasible through the application of microelectronics and semiconductor implementation.

9. Data Storage

With microelectronics technology, utilization in the development of cloud-based and enterprise storage systems are the future of data storage.

Software-based storage solutions are frantically pursued. The transformation in the digital sector encourages the adoption of such data storage solutions that are driven by microelectronics.

10. Wearable Technology

The application of microelectronics has helped tremendously in the design of devices that we attach on our bodies.

As a great innovation from this implementation, wristbands, wearable displays, pendants and other fashionable healthcare products are designed to monitor an individual’s wellbeing.

Using sensors and embedded systems that are driven by microelectronics makes this possible to attain the feat in wearable electronic devices.