Display technology such as LCD and other emerging ones came as a result of consistent research and experiments spanning several years to come up with what we have today. To remain relevant and maintain the competitive status in the market, manufacturers and other stakeholders are always engaging various enhancement methods for a better product.

In this article, a look at some of the experiments and researches into the application of LCD will be examined.

Liquid crystals have been discovered over a century now.

New Twists And Bends In LCD Research

Liquid crystals have been discovered over a century now. The structure of liquid crystal is still a misery and scientists are working frantically to unravel the mystery behind this substance that has changed display technology over the years. The latest discovery is the twist-bends that makes up the structure of liquid crystals.

Liquid crystals are in a state between solid and liquid but the molecules are in crystal like form. When viewed under the microscope, many different configurations of the crystals can be seen which includes a twist-bend molecular structure. This discovery which came in 2013 has opened up more room for further research.

By using an X-ray technique built in the U.S.A Department of Energy (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), the research team discovered the first measurement to confirm a firmly twisted spiral molecule formation that can be what is required to reveal the mystery behind the liquid crystal and to further improve on LCD display technology performance like the speed of switching between on and off. 

In the experiment, five LCD monitors were used.

Suitability Of Modern LCDs For Vision Research

In the experiment, five LCD monitors were used. Their spatial and temporal luminance characteristics were measured to find out if they can be used in place of cathode ray tube monitors. In the spatial test, the authors measured how luminance is changed across spatial position, repeated measurements, spatial context and viewing angle.

In the temporal test, the authors looked at how reliable the monitors can bring about luminance changes across successive frames. The temporal and spatial measurements are the already existing limitations of conventional LCDs and CRT monitors. But from the experiment, it shows that a few high-end gaming monitors were able to meet the temporal requirements of vision research and currently available monitors can be used in place of CRTs in experiments in the laboratory.

Liquid crystal display has brought a display type that will for long remain important display style.The future is still bright for the technology as more and more revelations are discovered on the usefulness of the crystal.

International Microelectronics Olympiad of Armenia is a worldwide knowledge-focused contest that brings together the brightest students in the world who are under the age of 30 and who are actively involved in microelectronics. College and university students tend to be the focus of the contest.

The contests test students in series of exams in written form and in stages to have the best students emerging in the process.

Peradventure two students have the same highest score; an hour test will be conducted to pick out the finalist from the country. All tests are in written form.

The Stages Of The Exams

There are two stages of the exams. The first stage is conducted in the participating country of the student. After which the best student from the country is selected by using the highest score in the exam. Peradventure two students have the same highest score; an hour test will be conducted to pick out the finalist from the country. All tests are in written form.

The final stage takes place in Armenia and the student with the highest score for each participating country will be sponsored to Armenia to take part in the final stage of the contest.

Participating Countries

 The number of participating countries is usually limited to 30 countries. The eligible countries most times have been Argentina, Armenia, Belarus, Artsakh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Egypt, China, Georgia, Germany, India, Israel, Hong Kong, Jordan, Malaysia, Philippines, Russia, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Turkey, UAE, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vietnam and USA.

Prize Categories

Though participants get a certificate of participation for taking part in the contest, prizes are awarded and the top prizes are as follows:

  • 1st Prize – Gold
  • 2nd prize – Silver
  • 3rd prize – Bronze

12th International Microelectronics Olympiad

This year, 2017, saw the 12th edition of the International Microelectronics Olympiad which was hosted by the Synopsys Armenia Education Department in Yerevan. The event which has 24 countries participating attracted 671 contestants from the countries. The Olympiad was organized in cooperation with IEEE (Institute of Electrical Electronics Engineers) and TTTC (Test Technology Technical Council).

Topics Covered In The 2017 Edition

The scope of topics covered under the 2017 International Microelectronics Olympiad are digital Integrated circuit design and test, semiconductor technology and devices, automation, analog and mixed-signal design and IC design and test, and mathematics and algorithmic issues of electronic design automation (EDA).

The countries represented at this year’s event are Argentina, Armenia, Brazil, Chile, Artsakh, China, Colombia, Georgia, Germany, Egypt, Hong Kong, Jordan, Peru, Iran, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Ukraine, the United States, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

As usual, the first stage of the written tests was done locally in participants’ countries and the exams test just fundamental aspect of the field. The second stage comprises more difficult engineering tasks that require complex solutions.

The final stage which was under the watchful eyes of the host countries prime minister had 20 countries represented by 41 contestants qualifying for the exams at this stage. These are Armenia, Artsakh, China, Egypt, Brazil, Georgia, Germany, Jordan, Peru, Iran, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Ukraine, USA, Uruguay, and Vietnam.

Some other major highlights were award of prizes to the winners of the Olympiad at a special ceremony at the Komitas Museum Institute.

These were the winners of the major prizes:

  • 1st prize or gold medal – Florin Burcea from Germany.
  • 2nd prize or silver medal – Akhsham Mahsa from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  • 3rd prize or bronze medal – Kapralovic Katarina from Serbia.

The award presentation was later followed by a charitable reception and concert at the same venue.
Microelectronics is a fast growing field in the electronic world. Annual Olympiad such as the Armenia organized Olympiad is a step in the right direction to motive involvement in the field.

Now in the 21st century, image display takes different patterns and are increasingly changing with new developments.

The history line of display method started from the cathode ray tube.

Cathode Ray Technology

CRT (Cathode ray tube) is a big vacuum tube that is common with the bulky TV sets of the 20 century.

To display an image, CRT uses an electron beam which scans rows of phosphors line after line on the surface of the tube. The electron beam is deflected continuously.

Digital Light Processing (DLP) Technology

Texas Instruments invented and developed DLP for rear-projection TV displays. DLP uses a chip (Digital Micro-mirror Device) for its image display technique. DMD is made up of a number of tilt-able tiny mirrors.

Each micro-mirror stands for a pixel which tilts in a rapid motion.

A gray-scale type of image results here. Colors are added when light passes through the color wheel and reflect off the micro-mirror on the chip. This reflection is formed on the screen to produce the image.

Plasma Televisions use a technique just like CRT which makes images via phosphors lighting

Plasma Technology

The characteristics of this technology are the flat, thin and wall-mount capability that it presents. It was introduced in the early 2000s. In 2014, Panasonic, LG, and Samsung that were left in the production of this display mode have all discontinued its manufacture, though the products are still in use today.

Plasma Televisions use a technique just like CRT which makes images via phosphors lighting. In this case, the phosphors are lit by superheated gas and not electron beam.

They can be lit all at once, unlike CRT which does that in rows.

LCD is not limited to backlighting technology.

LCD Technology

LCD Technology is the most used display type in TVs. They share a thin design structure as Plasma TVs. For image display, phosphors are not lit up but turned on and off at a particular refresh rate. The most common refreshed rate of LCD TVs is 120 or 60 of a second. To display an image, the LCD’s pixels must be backlit. When the pixels are ON, they allow the backlight through but when off they don’t allow backlight through. The backlight system for LCD TVs can be from any source of HCL or CCFL (fluorescent) or LED.

LCD is not limited to backlighting technology. To improve LCD TVs color, quantum dot technology is a new development on LCD technology improvements.

After the release of Retina Display in 2010, enhancing screen resolution and quality of display has seen lots of changes on our smartphones, TVs, other handheld devices and wearable displays that is still new on the market. The adoption of this newfound display technology is no doubt an improvement on the conventional designs.

Most of the display applies quantum dot technology including highly bright reflectance and high ambient displays.

Integrating quantum dots into LCD backlight results in highly saturated and bright primary colors like those of OLED displays.

Impact Of Quantum Dot Technology On LCD

Quantum dot enhances to a great measure the performance of LCD display with the aid of quantum physics. Integrating quantum dots into LCD backlight results in highly saturated and bright primary colors like those of OLED displays.

Also, quantum dots enhance brightness and power efficiency by converting blue LED lights into a greatly saturated band of primary colors for the LCD display.

A good advantage of quantum dots is that it can bring out the exact colors for images that are extremely high and accurate picture colors without the white-point errors and lopsided color range. With the incoming of quantum dots technology, the future of LCD display technology is greatly enhanced to see many more years at least in the next five years. This outstanding technology is being adopted and integrated into many LCD smartphones, TVs, and other handheld devices.

Likewise, display quality is also improved by highly bright, low reflectance great ambient light displays. Every screen acts like a mirror that reflects everything that gets illuminated in front of it. Before this form of display technology was utilized, images produced were of low output and quality of degraded contrasts and interference that makes it difficult for viewing on the screen

Today’s technology adopted by manufacturers introduces bright and non-reflective displays.

OLED Technology

OLED is the most recent in display technology designed for consumers. It combines great features of past technologies. OLED technology uses various techniques in its implementation. LG uses the WRGB process. This process brings together white OLED’s pixels with green, red and blue color filters.