“Collectively, the 2008 award recipients excelled at transitioning innovative products and technologies from ‘hot’ buzzwords to ‘cool’ realities, and their efforts are shaping the future of electronic-display technology," says Dick McCartney, Chair of SID’s awards committee. To qualify products had to be sold in 2007. They were graded on technical innovation, commercial significance, and social impact.
Luminus Devices, Billerica, Mass., took Display Component Gold while Silver went to FujiFilm Corp. Luminus Devices’ winning entry, Phlat- Light backlights, goes in LCD TVs. The device combines Luminus’ PhlatLight LEDs with Microlens light guides from Global Lighting Technology, Brecksville, Ohio. The result: Only eight RGB chipsets are needed to illuminate a large-screen LCD. Other LED backlights require hundreds, or even thousands of conventional LEDs to generate enough brightness and uniformity. With fewer LEDs, PhlatLight dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of LED backlighting for largescreen TVs. Moreover, because it is edge-illuminated, thinner LCD-TVs are possible.
The Silver winner, a Wide View (WV-EA) Film, is said to shore up a weak point in traditional twisted-nematic (TN) thin-film transistor (TFT) LCDs which are widely used in PC monitors. Although TN LCDs have high-light transmittance, relatively fast response times, and are easy and cost effective to manufacture, they don’t offer the wider viewing angle of other LCDs. FujiFilm’s optical compensation WV-EA films widen the viewing angles of TN LCDs to 160° in both horizontal and vertical directions at a contrast ratio of 10:1. This lets users see clear images at oblique angles.
Display Device Gold and Silver accolades went to Sony Corp. and Samsung SDI Co. Ltd., respectively. The Sony XEL-1 is the world’s first organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV. The 11-in. (diagonal) XEL-1 is 3 mm at its thinnest point. Picture quality is improved, thanks to Sony’s OLED Panel that boosts contrast, peak brightness, and color reproduction, as well as response time. The panel doesn't need separate light sources, so it consumes less power. It also eliminates mercury associated with traditional backlighting. The TV features a wide aperture ratio, which generates the brightness, and the TV delivers accurate pictures. A proprietary color filter and micro cavity structure helps it reproduce natural colors.
Samsung's Silver-winning 2.2-in. activematrix OLED (AMOLED) Display D is no thicker than a business card (0.52 mm) and uses a conventional glass substrate.
The display employs low-temperature polysilicon technology to approach the dimensions of a 1.7 mm TFT-LCD, considered the slimmest LCD modules available for mass production. The QVGA (320 240 resolution) AMOLED covers a 100% color gamut, can create highspeed, full-color (262k) video images, and project images with brightness ratio ranging from 1 to 10,000. AMOLED is promising, given its advantages over existing TFT-LCDs, including a 1,000 faster response time and a 40% drop in weight and thickness.
Apple Inc. garnered Display Application Gold honors for its iPhone, and Real D, Beverly Hills, took Silver for its Stereoscopic 3D Cinema Technology. The iPhone’s features a large multitouch display which uses an accelerometer, proximity sensor, and ambient light sensor to improve performance and extend battery life. The accelerometer detects when users rotate the device from portrait to landscape, and changes the display accordingly. Users instantly see the entire width of a Web page or photo in its proper aspect ratio. The proximity sensor detects when the unit is lifted to the ear and immediately turns off the display to save power and prevent inadvertent touches until it is moved away. And the light sensor adjusts display brightness for the current ambient light level. This makes viewing the screen easier and saves power.
Real D's stereoscopic 3D Cinema uses a single projector but places an active filter that can switch between two types of polarization in front of the projection lens. This lets viewers wear much simpler and lighter passive glasses while watching 3D movies. Moreover, synchronization, which was a problem for two-projector 35-mm systems, is less of an issue with digital cinema. Another advantage of Real D is that it lets theater owners upgrade to 3D without buying another projector.
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