Welcome to a New Year of ID

Accurately specifying and measuring the performance of displays has never seemed harder, so we thought that Display Metrology would be the perfect theme to kick off Information Display in 2006. The seminar on display metrology and related technical sessions given at the annual SID International Symposium attract a large audience each year, which shows how important this topic is to the industry. Even if you comprehend the alphabet soup of display-measurement and performance standards circulating around the world and get to know your theory and practices well enough, you are still confronted by the many reports of problems related to actually performing seemingly simple measurements.

In "A Closer Look at FPD Measurement Standards and Trends," Phil Downen of Westar Display Technologies takes us on a guided tour of the formidable standards landscape with stops at the less-popular standards. He does a great job of explaining how they all measure up and where the "measurement standards world" is headed.

Next, in "Optics, Illumination, and Processing Tradeoffs for Display Inspection," Lewis Collier of DisplayCheck gives us a behind-the-scenes look at designing optically based defect-detection technology.

Next, we take a nostalgic trip back to the days of RCA Corp. in the 1940s and 1950s when the revolution of television technology was just getting started. We chronicle the groundbreaking creation of the Modulation Transfer Function (MTF) by its developer Otto H. Schade, Sr. It is hard to describe to an outsider how fundamental the MTF analysis is to the design of imaging and optical systems – it is comparable to the discovery of DNA for microbiology and thermodynamics for combustion engines. Schade's work is so fundamental in understanding the actual and perceived resolution of imaging systems that the Society for Information Display has named its new achievement award the "Otto Schade Prize for Display Performance and Image Quality."

Our companion in metrology is the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST). The NIST–VESA Flat Panel Display Measurement (FPDM) standards are considered the cookbooks of many metrology laboratories. In a column this month by Dr. Ed Kelley of NIST, we learn about the latest endeavors of the metrology laboratory, and he hints at some financial concerns for the future of this extremely valuable resource. We must find ways, as an industry, to help support the metrology activities at NIST.

Finally, Ken Werner reviews the 2005 EuroDisplay Conference, where the buzz was all about the innovation and optimism of European technology companies and their investments in emerging technologies.

This year brings some exciting changes to ID. In addition to the top-notch technical coverage that you have come to expect in ID, we have added three new departments: The Business of Displays, written this month by Elliott Schlam, monthly SID Chapter News, provided by Robert Donofrio, and a roundup of Industry News that we find noteworthy. We think these additions will make the magazine more rounded and better serve our readers and SID members.

Our editorial-staff organization is new for 2006, and we welcome the addition of Michael Morgenthal as Managing Editor and Jessica Quandt as Editorial Associate. Jay Morreale continues with us and has been promoted to Editor-in-Chief. I am very honored to be working with this new team, and I hope you enjoy this and every upcoming issue of Information Display. We would love to hear your comments, feedback, and article ideas. E-mail us at press@sid.org.