The scene at SID

Fast-developing liquid-crystal-display (LCD) technologies, applications, and products affirmed the strong growth in monochrome and color flat-panel displays (FPDs) for the next several years, according to the attendees, speakers, and exhibitors at the recent Society for Information Display International Conference, Symposium, and Exposition (SID `98) held in Anaheim, CA. Records were set in attendance (6200), exhibitors (250 companies in 375 booths), and new monochrome and color display products

Jul 1st, 1998

The scene at SID

George Kotelly

georgek@pennwell.com

Fast-developing liquid-crystal-display (LCD) technologies, applications, and products affirmed the strong growth in monochrome and color flat-panel displays (FPDs) for the next several years, according to the attendees, speakers, and exhibitors at the recent Society for Information Display International Conference, Symposium, and Exposition (SID `98) held in Anaheim, CA. Records were set in attendance (6200), exhibitors (250 companies in 375 booths), and new monochrome and color display products.

Executives from US and foreign companies insisted that LCDs of all types and technologies are steadily replacing bulky cathode-ray monitors because of increasing user demand for smaller size, lighter weight, less power, and flicker-free viewing. The higher cost of LCDs, they contend, remains the only barrier to overwhelming market acceptance. According to industry analysts, though, LCD costs, in general, run nearly five to six times those of CRTs, and LCD costs must aggressively come down to less than a two-times premium.

According to Stanford Resources, a San Jose, CA-based market-research firm, LCDs are estimated to capture about 13% of monitor market share in 2003, and average prices are projected to decrease from about $1430 in 1998 to around $880 in 2001. Another market-research and consulting company, DisplaySearch (Austin, TX), is forecasting that LCD monitor shipments should total 1.44 million units in 1998 at a value of $1.6 billion and should jump to 3.9 million in 1999 at a value of $3.5 billion.

The center of attention at SID `98, however, proved to be the "Display Technology Showcase," in which 31 different display technologies and products from 20 companies were placed "side-by-side" for comparison tests by the attendees. All the displays were grouped in three broad categories--large video/graphic, desktop, and small--and were exercised simultaneously with the same test patterns, still images, and full-motion video. No official judging or rankings were made.

Nevertheless, this viewer awards kudos to Plasmaco Inc. (Highland, NY) for its 50-in., color, prototype, flat plasma display panel; to Fujitsu Microelectronics Inc. (Fairfield, NJ) for its 20- to 300-in., color, TFT LCD projector display; to Clinton Electronics Corp. (Rockford, IL) for its 21-in., COTS FS, color, desktop shadow-mask CRT display; to Dolch Computer Systems (Fremont, CA) for its 15-in., color, TFT-LCD flat-panel desktop display; to EMCO Electronics Inc. (Charlotte, NC) for its 12.1-in. TFT-LCD desktop panel; and to Epson Electronics America Inc. (El Segundo, CA) for its small 6.5-in. color, D-TFD video monitor.

Among the exhibitors who unveiled notable new display products were

Motorola (Tempe, AZ)--demonstrated a 5.1-in., 320 ¥ 240-pixel, field-emission display (FED) that showed "The Wizard of Oz" movie in full color and motion that seemed to provide a sensation of depth.

EMCO Electronics Inc. (Charlotte, NC)--unveiled its MITRA line of low-profile, low-power, sunlight-immune, 6.5- to 12.1-in. LCDs with VGA to 1280 ¥ 1024-pixel resolutions and 1700-cd/m2 brightness.

Seiko Instruments USA Inc. (Torrance, CA)--introduced its Seiko Vitrium 240 ¥ 160-dot format "chip-on-glass" LCD monochrome graphics module. Based on a patented gold-plating process, this 70.7 ¥ 51.4 ¥ 2.2-mm, 14-gram module incorporates slim-chip LCD driver circuits onto the surface of the glass, thus eliminating the need for mounting quad flat-pack chips or drivers to a circuit card.

Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (Irvine, CA)--presented two wide-type 16:9-aspect ratio, thin-film transistor (TFT) LCD monitors--a 5.8-in., 400 ¥ 234-pixel unit and a 7.0-in., 480 ¥ 234-pixel unit, both with 350 cd/m2 brightness and antiglare coating.

NEC Electronics Inc. (Santa Clara, CA)--delivered an array of TFT, color, LCD modules: two 12.1-in. 800 ¥ 600-pixel units, a 13.3-in. 1024 ¥ 768-pixel unit, and a 14.1-in. 1024 ¥ 768-pixel unit for notebook PCs, and 15.4-in. and 18.1-in. 1280 ¥ 1024-pixel units for desktop monitors.

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