The End of Cell Design?


Designing liquid-crystal cells and modes of operation has been an important road to improved LCD performance. But as LC technology matures, it seems as if the center of the action is now moving to other parts of the display system, particularly electronics and backlights.

Now, before I oversell this idea, I should acknowledge that cell design has not suddenly become irrelevant. Samsung Electronics and LG.Philips LCD are still vigorously pursuing their PVA vs. S-IPS battle, and two interesting structures – Nemoptic's BiNem bistable nematic structure intended for portable applications and the optically compensated bend (OCB) mode – that have been under development for years are now in the relatively early stages of commercialization. Nonetheless, for now, large LCDs have settled down into three dominant structures – PVA, S-IPS, and TN with compensation films – and manufacturers are looking to novel backlight designs for faster response time, broader color gamut, and better contrast, and they are looking to display electronics for better performance and cost savings.

All of the articles in this issue – by Ray Soneira, Philippe Berger, Sweta Dash, and myself – draw on the backlights and electronics theme in one way or another. And we will have more detailed articles on dynamic backlights and LED backlights in our October and November issues. This is a theme that will be with us for long, long time.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. You can reach me by e-mail at The contents of upcoming issues ofID are available on the SID Web site (