At AndersDX we pride ourselves on having very close relationships with our partners. It is important to us to keep 100% up to date on key developments and plans for the future so we can pass this knowledge on to our customers and help them develop products that far exceed their initial expectations. Established in 1997, LCD company Data Image is one of our key partners so we asked their CEO Phil Yu to share his thoughts on future display trends, outdoor applications and challenging environments:
As a display specialist with over 15 years of experience, what in your opinion will be the trend in the market for the next 2-3 years?
"Generally speaking, the small-medium sized display market is influenced by consumer devices, particularly smartphones. Smartphones are always the major influencer in driving display technology and this will influence the direction manufacturers want to go. Some still choose the mobile display market so they have to find new display technologies to fit development of mobile products – for example OLED, Retina, LTPS, etc.
However, these technologies have a low lifetime for the Industrial sector – on average 2-3 years. For Industrial applications you need not only a longer lifetime – 5 years minimum - but also has a long life supply and of course reliability. That’s why we will still see Amorphous silicon TFT displays as the main trend despite other technologies (such as those mentioned above) being developed, as they are robust, reliable and low cost to manufacture.
It terms of future trends in technology type for the Industrial sector I think In-Plane Switching TFTs (IPS) will definitely replace TN (Twisted Nematic) TFTs because they reflect the performance of a mobile phone and come with greater benefits: better viewing angles, more accurate colour, clearer images and a more stable response time. In addition, they do not lighten or show tailing when touched unlike TN TFTs.
5 years ago this technology was not very popular in non-consumer industries mainly due to its price: an IPS display would cost you almost double the price of a TN TFT. But we’ve seen a clear decline in IPS Glass price for the last few years. Depending on the size of the display you can have IPS Glass for the almost the same price as a TN. You can even find small IPS TFTs at lower cost than TN TFT's such as 2.8" displays !"
We are working within a very competitive market. What are your strengths compare to your competitors?
"Indeed, the LCD manufacturing market is very competitive. The fact that we build our technologies in-house gives us an edge over our competitors: Optical Bonding, Cover Glass Coating, Touch Panel integration: everything is done within our 46,000 m2 facility in Suzhou.
Secondly, our experience in providing displays for the Marine and Industrial sectors who we have been working with for over 15 years now is key. These industries require displays with specific requirements such as sunlight readability and wide viewing angles which we can apply in-house within the same production process. These enhancements can be applied across a wide range of applications such as ATMs, payment terminals and kiosks."
How are these segments different from the others? What are their specific requirements?
"These displays will need to work in very high temperatures, because of external sources such as solar radiation and UV in the case of Marine. Therefore, they require specific materials to be able work accurately under these environments.
Displays for Marine applications will also be working in a harsh environment involving salty water & air, and sunlight – they need a solution that would stop moisture penetrating the display layers and a surface that would be sunlight readable. And this is where a specific Cover Glass Coating and Optical Bonding solution comes into force. These technologies have been the focus of our R&D and will continue to be so this year. For example, our researchers are working on a way to fit Optical Bonding Technology, cost effectively, onto any size display – from 2.8” to 50”."
AndersDX and DI have been partners for more than 5 years now. How would you describe our relationship?
"From the beginning of our relationship we have been impressed by the passion of the Anders people. Both the management, engineering and sales teams are passionate and fully committed to what they do.
AndersDX team have a strong knowledge of the industry and the embedded and display technologies and are highly reliable. This is what we are looking for in our partners.
We are industry experts that only partner with industry experts, which is exactly what we can find at Anders."
If you want to discuss in more depth the topic of this interview with our experts, get in touch !