Yesterday, the Society for Information Display (SID) unveiled the winners of its prestigious 19th annual Display Industry Awards. These are the display industry’s most coveted awards, and the honorees will be recognized during a special luncheon tomorrow, Wed., June 4, as part of Display Week 2014, which is taking place this week at the San Diego Convention Center.
Research and innovation continue to be alive and well, and this past year was no exception given the caliber of nominated candidates. The six winners, two in each of three main categories, were chosen by a distinguished panel of experts who evaluated the nominees for their degree of technical innovation and commercial significance, in addition to their potential for positive social impact.
It is notable that three of this year’s winners are curved devices, and two of the winners are materials that support flexible devices, signaling that the “flat” in flat panel displays may be a thing of the past. Four of the six winners are also OLED-based, while the debut of the internet giant, Google, in this year’s award race reminds that LCDs are still here to stay. The winning products and a brief description of each are listed below. A more comprehensive description of the award winners is included in the Display Week 2014 Show Issue of Information Display magazine.
Display of the Year: Granted to a display with novel and outstanding features such as new physical or chemical effects, or a new addressing method
Gold Award Winner: Samsung Display’s 5.68-in. Curved (Flexible) AMOLED Display
The Samsung 5.68-in. FHD curved AMOLED display represents a major milestone for the entire display industry, as it’s the world’s first truly flexible full-fidelity display technology to be mass produced and adapted for use in a mass-market product. Now being produced on a plastic substrate, the new Samsung display panel enables smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy Round to be curved, significantly improving a user’s grip. Smartphone users will be able to comfortably hold a larger-screen version of the panel with just one hand. The smartphone has a curvature of 400 mm, while human hands have a natural curvature of about 300-500 mm. Also, the display enables a more visually immersive mobile experience with a “landscape” view aspect ratio of 1.88:1, comparable to the Vista Vision technology (1.83:1) now used in most movie theaters. In addition, the curved screen is more readable thanks to a significant reduction in light reflectance. Samsung’s new curved display will later evolve into bendable and foldable displays that will further revolutionize the use of smartphones and other mobile-product form factors.
Silver Award Winner: LG Display’s 55-in. FHD Curved OLED TV Panel
LG’s 55-in. FHD curved OLED TV panel offers exceptionally vibrant imagery in a curved format that offers viewers a comfortably immersive environment. LG’s curved OLED TV was introduced last year, and uses the company’s WRGB OLED technology with an oxide TFT backplane, the company’s technical solution of choice for large-sized OLED panels. The panel is slim – only 4 mm thick with side bezel widths of 11 mm. At 19.2 pounds, the TV is also substantially lighter than competitive products. At the same time, it offers superior picture quality, achieving remarkably rich and natural colors. In addition to the vivid and enhanced picture-quality experience, the curved structure of the new OLED TV panel offers viewing comfort. The curvature mimics a human’s normal line of vision, which makes it more eye friendly and allows viewers to feel less fatigue even when watching the screen, while also allowing for a wider and brighter field of view.
Display Component of the Year: Granted for a novel component (sold as a separate part and incorporated into a display) that has significantly enhanced a display’s performance. A component may also include display-enhancing materials and/or parts fabricated with new processes
Gold Award: UDC’s Green Phosphorescent UniversalPHOLED Emitter Material
Universal Display Corporation’s (UDC’s) proprietary green phosphorescent OLED (PHOLED) emissive system can reduce an OLED display’s power consumption by approximately 25 percent, while providing excellent color in mobile displays. Adding green PHOLEDs to displays has increased OLED’s competitiveness with LCDs for mobile applications. This new material is expected to be a key driver in the commercialization of OLED TVs as well as OLED lighting. Through years of R&D work and achievements, UDC has produced UniversalPHOLED materials that provide record-breaking energy efficiencies, vibrant colors, long operating lifetimes and manufacturing versatility. The green PHOLED emitter builds on the successful commercialization of UDC’s red UniversalPHOLED emitter, first launched in commercial passive-matrix display products in 2003. PHOLED materials are expected to drive wider adoption of OLED technology and greater growth in the display and lighting markets because they significantly reduce power consumption and lower heat emission compared to prior fluorescent OLED materials.
Silver Award: Canatu Oy’s Carbon NanoBud (CNB) Film
Canatu Oy’s Carbon NanoBud (CNB) Film, made from carbon nanotubes and fullerenes, provides superior optical performance for flat, flexible, or formable touch screens, displays and touch-sensitive surfaces. This transparent conductive film is used in capacitive touch sensors for portable devices such as mobile phones, tablets, and digital cameras, and in automobiles that require excellent display readability in outdoor and bright indoor environments. CNB Films are also applied in capacitive touch sensors for flexible or formable devices such as smart watches, flexible and foldable mobile phones and tablets, and automobile center consoles.
Display Application of the Year: Granted for a novel and outstanding application of a display, where the display itself is not necessarily a new device
Gold Award: LG Display’s G Flex
LG Display’s G Flex smartphone incorporates a flexible OLED panel that is based on a plastic substrate instead of glass. By applying film-type encapsulation technology and attaching the protection film to the back of the panel, LG Display made the panel bendable and unbreakable. Compared to an OLED display panel based on glass, the flexible OLED panel is lightweight, thin and features design flexibility. This allows for a design that naturally fits the contour of a smartphone user’s face. What’s more, the panel is also the world’s lightest, weighing a mere 7.2 grams, even with a 6-in. screen, the largest among current smartphone OLED displays. In the future, LG plans to use this process applicable for the production of large-sized devices, including laptops, monitors and TVs, as well as eReaders and more.
Silver Award: Google Chromebook Pixel
Chromebooks are built for the way that people use computers and the web today. They make computing faster, simpler and more secure – for everyone. The LCD on the Chromebook Pixel is stunning, providing users with a rich, immersive experience. The 12.85-in. touch screen had, at launch, the highest pixel density of any laptop (239 ppi), and the 3:2 photographic format is specifically designed for using the web by reducing the need for scrolling. For users, text is crisp, colors are vivid, touch interactions are smooth – and each of the 4.3 million pixels seems to disappear into one spectacular picture. Google used amorphous silicon (a-Si) TFT technology for the pixel to reduce the cost of the glass panel. The transmissivity of its high-ppi a-Si TFT panel was lower than panels fabricated with oxide transistors or low-temperature polysilicon. To attain low-power consumption using a-Si, the company optimized the remaining components (including LEDs, optical films, and light pipe). The company’s goal is to continue to push the laptop experience forward, working with its entire ecosystem of partners to build the next generation of Chrome OS devices.
The 51st SID International Symposium, Seminar and Exhibition, or Display Week 2014, will take place June 1-6, 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, Calif. Display Week is an international gathering of scientists, engineers, manufacturers and users in the field of electronic information displays.