Consider display suppliers and all the
markets they serve and be sure to extend well
beyond the consumer-commercial markets for
stability. Take a close look at a supplier’s road-map for the type of technology and selections
that they are offering and supporting now
and for the future – and also look at how they
manufacturer their products.
Does a supplier support their
own glass? And a very important consideration these days
is the life cycle support of the
panel that is being selected: do
you need your product for one
year or do you need it for five
years or longer?
ECN: Can you describe the
commercialization of OLED displays? When
will we see more of them?
JF: OLED has been mainly for cell phone
display products and applications to date and
now we are seeing growth in large format displays for TV and/or digital signage products.
Other than these areas, we have seen very little
availability or growth in OLED.
ECN: What is happening in the ultra-slim
PC market? Will touchscreens and thin display
panel suppliers be able to meet the demand?
JF: With the adoption of LED based displays and the availability of thinner, brighter
and lighter displays – there is huge growth in
the “Tablet PC” market. There appears to be no
lack of support for product and with so many
new and improved touchscreen suppliers on
board now. But, as always, a company must
carefully select who they partner with for the
ECN: When will we see flexible AMOLED
JF: It appears that there will be one or two
major suppliers to date for the flexible AMOLED technology and the main applications will
be for cell phones and watches. We could see
an explosion of new applications within the
next three-to-five years for this technology.
ECN: Can you describe some of the latest
advancements in e-paper technology?
JF: The major move for e-paper technol-
ogy right now is to color. As applications grow
and even beyond the current e-reader devices,
there is more need for moving video, improved
hardware-for faster refresh rates and even less
power consumption will create a whole new
opportunity. Also, the e-paper technology will
become even more popular and in more appli-
cations as price points become more attractive,
and that appears to be just around the corner.
Just the ability to improve on the environment
and the destruction of trees for normal paper
will make e-paper an attractive solution for
ECN: Demand for touchscreens continues to explode.
Will manufacturing be able to
JF: Yes, we see with almost
every application the request
for some type of touchscreen.
There are so many more touch-
screen suppliers and technolo-
gies today and the amount of
capacity has increased significantly. We believe
that manufacturing will keep pace with de-
ECN: What are some of the key criteria for
selecting a touchscreen device?
JF: It is important to select the right supplier and to understand the unique aspects of
each different touchscreen technology such as
resistive, capacitive, projective capacitive, and
SAW. Know your application, know your pricing targets and know the environment where
the end product will be used and work with a
partner that understands the various interface
variations within an application directly with
the display choice.
ECN: What effect has the Windows 8 OS,
which is touted for touchscreen devices, had
on touchscreen demand/production?
JF: Not everyone will appreciate the new
interface of Windows 8 and there have been
some issues, but there are many people who
appreciate the fast start up, shutdown and boot
process and the potential for a very rich and
rewarding touchscreen experience with Windows 8 and the ability to remotely access and
manipulate your home PC. There appears to be
no issue at this time on demand or production
ECN: What are some of the things designers overlook, misconceive or fail to consider
when designing with touchscreens?
JF: The two biggest areas that are often
overlooked are the vast pricing variations for
each touchscreen technology and the interface
decisions for and to the display.
With the adoption of
LED based displays and
the availability of thin-
ner, brighter and lighter
displays – there is huge
growth in the “Tablet