Star Wars and OLEDs sparkle at SID

SAN JOSE, CA-It`s a good bet that a lot more people got excited about the Star Wars debut during the week of May 17th than were even aware of the annual meeting of the Society for Information Display (SID), which also took place that week. As it turns out, plenty of SID attendees were excited about the Star Wars opening also, because the movie was scheduled to show from digital projectors in June at theatres in New York and Los Angeles. A booming Star Wars digital-cinema demonstration during the

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Conference Report

SAN JOSE, CA-It`s a good bet that a lot more people got excited about the Star Wars debut during the week of May 17th than were even aware of the annual meeting of the Society for Information Display (SID), which also took place that week. As it turns out, plenty of SID attendees were excited about the Star Wars opening also, because the movie was scheduled to show from digital projectors in June at theatres in New York and Los Angeles. A booming Star Wars digital-cinema demonstration during the SID opening session made the San Jose Convention Center appear to be about to take flight.

Keynote speakers on the topic of digital cinema included Curt Behlmer of Studio Systems Inc., (Studio City, CA), who discussed the expected impact of digital cinema post-production techniques as well as the distribution and exhibition of motion pictures. William Bleha of Hughes-JVC Technology Corp. (Carlsbad, CA) discussed the role of image-light-amplifier (ILA) technology in providing a "film-like" look with a large-screen electronic projector. And Larry Hornbeck of Texas Instruments (TI; Plano, TX) discussed the use of digital light-processing technology for all digital film exhibition. Hornbeck was also recognized at the SID meeting for his invention of the digital micromirror-device (DMD) technology, upon which digital light processing is based.

Total attendance was approximately 6700, 400 more than last year. Technical sessions included more than 225 contributed papers and 25 invited papers. SID claimed its largest commercial exhibition in 1999 with more than 260 exhibitors occupying 402 booths.

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Beyond the imminent prospects for digital Star Wars, organic light-emitting-diode (OLED) technology is creating excitement in the display industry along with commercial activity, despite the fact that no large-scale commercialized products have yet emerged. Invited papers by researchers from IBM Zurich Research Laboratory (Rueschlikon, Switzerland) and Pioneer Electronic Corp. (Saitama, Japan) discussed new developments in OLED performance, such as materials that enhance thermal stability and efficiency while enabling innovative multilayer-device structures, and the construction of a full-color 5.2-in 1/4-VGA passive-matrix OLED display using selective deposition for different emitting materials.

Researchers from Seiko-Epson (Nagano, Japan) and Cambridge Display Technology (CDT; Cambridge, England) also presented two OLED papers. The first was an invited paper on the status of technology for light-emitting polymer (LEP) displays driven by polysilicon thin-film transistors. The research team has already produced a trial monochrome flat-panel display (FPD) with a 5-cm-diagonal image size, 800 ? 236 pixels, a weight of 5 g, and a thickness of 2.5 mm (see figure). According to Tatsuya Shimoda of Seiko-Epson, the researchers achieved good image quality, small size, and light weight, along with a total power consumption comparable to emissive LCDs of 120 mW at a brightness of 100 cd/m2. The next step, described in the second paper from the same research team, will be a color display using inkjet patterning of three different color materials.

On the commercial OLED front, CDT announced a marketing alliance with Covion Organic Semiconductors GmbH (Frankfurt, Germany) with the ultimate goal of accelerating the transfer of LEP technology to companies interested in developing products.

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