Imaging and Detector Industry Report

July 1, 2002

by Hassaun A. Jones-Bey and Valerie C. Coffey

Display sectors expect revenue growth Attendance at the annual Society for Information Display (SID) Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition held May 19-24 in Boston, MA, was lower than in 2001, typical of the current economic hard times; even so, unlike some high-tech areas, revenue growth is expected throughout 2002 for most display sectors. Paul Semenza, executive vice president and chief operating officer of iSuppli Market Intelligence Services (El Segundo,CA), predicts that the worldwide liquid-crystal-display (LCDs) monitor market will see a surge in growth in the latter half of 2003. "Although conventional CRT technology is dominant in rear-projection TV and surviving the competition in front projection," said Semenza, "LCDs are dominant in the front-projection market, and gaining market shares in the video wall-cube market." Active organic LEDs now in development for use in notebook PCs and color cellular-phone displays, added Semenza, have strong potential for success. Other emerging display technologies include grating light valve and laser projectors.Collaboration to market virtual-reality productseMagin (Hopewell Junction, NY), a developer of active-matrix organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) microdisplays, and VRX Technologies Group (Harrogate, England), a developer of visualization and simulation software, have signed a strategic marketing agreement to cooperatively market their virtual-reality products to the electronic games industry. VRX software, combined with eMagin's displays and optics, will enable next-generation three-dimensional immersive gaming. The companies believe that this combination will enable OEM customers in the gaming industry to build the first viable virtual-reality PC game products.Ultrathin displays are thinner than credit cardsE Ink (Cambridge, MA) demonstrated prototypes in May at the Society for Information Display Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition, in Boston, MA, of ultrathin displays targeting highly portable, rugged information appliances. At less than half the thickness of a credit card, the development prototypes had a total display thickness of just 0.3 mm. "These displays are an important milestone for E Ink," stated Michael McCreary, vice president of R&D. "These prototypes are the first of their kind on steel foil, and their thinness and flexibility opens many exciting application possibilities."Samsung and UDC describe AMOLED displaySamsung (Seoul, Korea) and Universal Display (Ewing, NJ) presented a technical paper during the SID annual meeting describing a 2.2-in., full-color, active-matrix organic light-emitting-diode (AMOLED) display that was also demonstrated at the Samsung SDI Booth in the exhibit hall. "Universal Display's unique phosphorescent technology allows us to overcome the current power-consumption and efficiency limitations found in conventional OLED technology," said H. K. Chung, senior vice president of Samsung SDI. "The power consumption of this display is approximately 50% less than a comparable fluorescent OLED display, and 20% less than a similar backlit LCD."DuPont and Samsung collaborate on displaysDuPont Displays (Wilmington, DE) and Samsung Electronics (Seoul, Korea) are collaborating to enhance the external displays of handsets in Samsung's new mobile-phone line with holographic reflector technology to improve viewing and to add a variety of color options. The handsets are a folder-type phone featuring a large, high-definition, color LCD on the inside cover and an external display on the outside cover for easy viewing of incoming call information.Also in the news . . .

From a tiny microdisplay measuring 0.43 in. in diameter from Three-Five Systems (Elmhurst, IL) to the largest-ever inorganic electroluminescent display—17 in.—by iFire (Toronto, Ont., Canada), companies at the SID exhibition touted their newest entries into what has become a very competitive market. . . . Layering two LCDs over each other, Deep Video Imaging (Hamilton, New Zealand) has created one 18-in. "ActualDepth" screen with applications in medical monitoring, aircraft, tanks, and air-traffic control applications. . . . Other 3-D products included a hands-free eyewear-based display system by MicroOptical (Westwood, MA). On a wide-screen television, DDD (Santa Monica, CA) featured the movie Shrek in autostereoscopic 3-D—meaning without glasses. The 3-D conversion software adds a depth track to any two-dimensional movie, using shades of gray to create the appearance of depth. The process can be formatted for 70-mm IMAX screens. Royal Philips Electronics (Eindhoven, The Netherlands) unveiled another industry first: a breakthrough polymer-based organic light-emitting-diode (PolyLED) solid-state display module claimed to be the thinnest and most compact in the industry. Using a thin-film encapsulation process that requires fewer materials and components than existing manufacturing processes, Philips' thin-film PolyLED technology will enable full-color displays 1-mm thick, ideal for mobile-device applications.

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