Opto-Electronics


Rugged technology standard introduced for industrial displays

20 September 2006 Opto-Electronics

At the Society for Information Display 2006 international exhibition recently, Sharp Microelectronics introduced Strong 2, the company's new performance standard for its industrial amorphous silicon liquid crystal displays (a-Si LCDs). The new standard, according to Sharp, means that OEM customers gain assurance that its LCDs meet greater performance requirements in brightness, contrast, temperature range, and shock/vibration.

Four Strong 2 displays are currently offered: the 10,4" (26,4 cm) LQ104V1DG61 and LQ104V1LG61, along with the 12,1" (30,7 cm) LQ121S1DG61 and LQ121S1LG61. Additional sizes, ranging from 26,4 cm to 12,7 cm, will be available soon.

The integration of displays in industrial devices, such as patient monitoring, human-machine interface, factory automation, and e-signage requires that displays meet far more stringent performance criteria than displays used in consumer applications, because they are used in harsher environments. According to Sharp, the Strong 2 LCDs address four areas of importance as follows:

* Wider temperature range - they can operate in extreme temperatures ranging from -30 to 80°C. They need no elaborate display enclosures with fans or other cooling methods, even in hot or dusty environments, thus eliminating air filter purchase and servicing costs. In cold environments or high altitudes they operate at standard refresh rates, allowing engineers to design them into a wider range of devices.

* Higher brightness - Since a touchscreen can reduce display brightness, Strong 2 displays offer 450 cd/m² of brightness at the outset, to maintain brightness and clarity even after integrating a touchscreen. Also, designers no longer need to add extra display backlights for high ambient light applications, or when adding an anti-reflective overlay.

* Greater contrast - the Strong 2 standard features a 600:1 contrast ratio for crisper, clearer images and more vivid colours.

* Greater resistance to shock and vibration - Strong 2 displays are 1,5 g certified for greater shock and vibration. This suits rugged medical applications such as EMT equipment in emergency vehicles, or T&M equipment used in harsh environments. They also require less cushioning to pass stringent environmental-use tests.

Applications

In addition to medical and industrial equipment, the rugged Strong 2 displays will find use in applications such as:

* Outdoor use including ticketing kiosks, ATMs, gas pump or offshore oil rig displays, and small outdoor advertising.

* Indoor use in human/machine interfaces and in areas with exposure to higher temperatures due to manufacturing processes.

* Applications where image quality is extremely important, and higher contrast ratio is a key factor; for example, online catalogue sales where customers perceive the quality of the item by how it looks on-screen.

For more information contact Larry Gordon, Arrow Altech Distribution, +27 (0)11 923 9600, lgordon@arrow.altech.co.za



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