Green Technology

For the first time in the history of the Symposium, the Society for Information Display has designated a group of special sessions to explore green technologies in the display industry. These include Novel Power-Reduction Techniques, Green Technologies in Display Manufacturing, Low-Power E-Paper and Other Bistable Displays, Power-Saving Device Designs, and Green Technologies in Active-Matrix Devices.

by Don Carkner

REDUCING the environmental impact of new display components, including a focus on lower power consumption and sound recycling practices, is now the mission of almost every participant in the display industry. It is not only good business to give consumers and system designers what they want, it is also rapidly becoming mandated in many jurisdictions. If a company is not thinking "green" today, it is not really engaged in its marketplace or preparing itself for the future. Accordingly, Display Week's 2010 technical program committee decided to create a new forum to help bring the display industry's green technology ideas to light, and the focus is expected to be enthusiastically received by conference goers eager to find new ways to conserve energy in terms of both process and product.

Highlights and Trends

The Symposium will contain five sessions in the Green Technology track, with 20 papers covering topics ranging from power-saving circuitry and drive techniques to materials and energy reductions during manufacturing to novel device structures that allow higher efficiency operation. A strong trend is under way to adopt light-emitting diodes (LEDs) as a replacement light source for backlight units in liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), both for power reduction and for the very thin packages that such designs enable (see Fig. 1), with many observers predicting complete penetration within a few short years. Another trend in the making is evidenced by the emergence of energy-, material-, and biomass-saving bistable e-paper displays, as the publishing industry prepares to undertake the massive transition from being paper-based to electronic.

Featured Papers

The Display Week sessions will feature several overview presentations on green technology and design in the display industry, from marquee manufacturers such as Samsung, AUO, and Philips. An invited paper (Session 9) from Dr. Jun Souk of Samsung, "Green Technology in LCDs," will provide a comprehensive overview of the current status and future prospects for green technologies and trends in the LCD manufacturing industry.



Fig. 1: Samsung's LED9000 is an example of a super-thin LED-edgelit LCD TV that is designed to be energy efficient. Image courtesy Samsung.


Sharp will present a paper, "Power-Efficient LC TV with Smart Grid Demand Response Functionality," by Louis Kerofsky, on the hot topic of Smart-Grid functionality. There will also be papers on novel LED-backlight technologies from Chiao Tung and Chung Hua Universities. New power-saving drive techniques will be discussed by LG Display, and AMOLEDs, another topic that looms large in terms of future power reduction, by Universal Display Corp. (UDC). There will also be a selection of papers from Europe and the U.K. on novel e-paper approaches.

Seiko Amamo from the Semiconductor Energy Lab in Japan will discuss low-power operation using the interesting new IGZO-based amorphous-oxide TFT device. An-Thung Cho from AUO will talk about two forward-looking technology developments – in-cell light sensing and in-cell solar power generation – imagine a display that generates its own power!

The Case for Green

We seem to be immersed daily in exhortations on the need to reduce emissions and conserve resources, and many people have taken such advice to heart by altering patterns in their daily lives. Now these concerned consumers are taking the next step, which is holding manufacturing companies and the devices they sell accountable in a similar way. Industry players are developing strategies, techniques, and trends that are being used in order to meet both consumers' and the shareholders' requirements, and these sessions will allow such players to educate the industry on their plans and efforts. •


Don Carker is Principal Technologist for CH2M Hill, a member of the SID program selection Display Manufacturing subcommittee, and Program Vice-Chair for Green Technologies for SID 2010. He can be reached at or (503) 736-4318.