2017 Display Industry Awards
Each year, SID’s Display Industry Awards Committee selects products that have advanced the state of the art of display technology in the categories of Display of the
Year, Display Component of the Year, and Display Application of the Year.
Compiled by Jenny Donelan
Three out of six Display Industry Award winners this year are based on OLEDs. That includes LG Display’s sizable 65-in. Wallpaper TV, as well as two much smaller panels – Samsung’s 139.5-mm. quad-bended display for the Galaxy S7 Edge, and the 5.7-in. OLED display in the PlayStation VR. Even the LCD-based MacBook Pro, recipient of an application award, won in large part on the basis of its novel, integrated OLED-based touch bar.
This isn’t the first time that OLED innovations have led the way in SID’s annual awards. But it is the first year they have done so in a field so largely devoid of LCDs. (Although it should be noted that one of the component winners, Nanosys’s Hyperion quantum dots, exists – at least at present – primarily to enhance LCD panels.)
This is not to say that OLEDs are replacing liquid crystals as the dominant display material in the same way that LCs pushed aside cathode ray tubes (CRTs) years ago. LCD TVs, whether enhanced with LEDs, quantum dots, or both, still outsell OLED TVs, and are expected to do so for the foreseeable future, according to market analyst Jennifer Colegrove. She is quoted in this issue’s SID News to say that she predicts OLED TV market share will not exceed 6% of the overall market through at least 2021. For smartphones, the OLED vs. LCD battle is much closer, with an increasing number of smartphones based on AMOLED technology. (See DisplayMate’s review of Samsung’s new OLED-based smartphones in this issue’s Industry News.)
The point, of course, is not so much which technology is leading the marketplace by itself, but how many cool products we can make with that technology. It’s exciting to imagine the future evolution of products like LG Display’s Wallpaper TV – what if we had “peel and stick” displays that we could move around the house wherever we wanted? And devices like Sony’s PlayStationVR, which offer a greater sense of immersion than users have enjoyed before, seem like a step closer to the virtual “holodeck” of Star Trek TNG fame. What’s exciting is that there are so many technologies available for firing the imaginations of researchers. It’s a good time to work in displays.
With that, we applaud the winners of this year’s Display Industry Awards. May the researchers, engineers, chemists, and designers at these companies never stop innovating. Please join us in saluting their efforts.
Displays of the Year
This award is granted to display products with the most significant technological advances or outstanding features.
LG Display’s 65-in. Wallpaper OLED TV
In 2013, LG Display launched one of the world’s first 55-in. full-high-definition (FHD) OLED TVs. In 2015, the company introduced a lineup of 55-in., 65-in., and 77-in. ultra-high-definition (UHD) OLED TVs. LG Display then incorporated high-dynamic range (HDR) and Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) technologies into these TVs to improve the picture quality, and developed curved, 4-sided-borderless, and slim designs for improved design differentiation.
In 2016 and 2017, LG Display launched its Wallpaper OLED TV panels. Its 65-in. Wallpaper OLED display demonstrates a combination of excellent image quality and streamlined design that is possible only with OLED technology. The panel’s most notable feature is the unique form factor: It’s much slimmer and lighter (with a thickness of 3.9 mm and a weight of 7.4 kilograms) than conventional TVs, and fits right against a wall – hence the name “Wallpaper.”
For the Wallpaper display, LG developed a unique interface based on the V-by-One HS digital signaling standard, and included high-bandwidth digital-content protection (HDCP) in order to transmit video data and control signals between the display and the driver circuit board. The company also designed a slim, flat external cable (0.47 m) that enables simultaneous transmission of panel power and video data to the UHD panel – 700 watts of power and a frame rate of up to 120Hz. This is an industry first, and allows the driver circuit board and power unit to be separate from the panel rather than mounted on the back, as is typically done for TVs. This is part of what enables the panel to be so thin – the driver
circuit board and the power unit together are about one-third the size of the panel, with a thickness of more than 20 mm. For optimal attachment to the wall, LG Display also developed a back cover less than 3 mm thick that uses magnetic sheets and a hook.
LG Display anticipates that the Wallpaper form factor will be a trendsetter in the TV market.
Samsung Display’s Quad-bended Flexible AMOLED Display
Since 2013, Samsung Display has regularly launched new products based on flexible displays that enable smartphone design innovation. The company’s first flexible product was a curved AMOLED display (SID’s 2014 Display of the Year); the next was a bended AMOLED display (YOUM, which was SID’s 2015 Display of the Year).
In 2016, Samsung Display launched a new flexible product, the Quad-bended AMOLED Display, which surpasses the company’s previous flexible offerings in many ways. To begin with, its “quad edge” flexible technology, a world’s first, is not only on the sides of the display, but on the top and bottom as well. Samsung created this display, used in the Galaxy S7 Edge smartphone, by adopting special curved technology that varies the radius for the curvature ofthe OLED panel from 35R to 3.8R. This enables the Galaxy S7 Edge to attain
extremely fine contours and provide a more comfortable grip for the user. To make a naturally appearing curved edge, a four-step radius (35R, 9.4R, 5.4R, 3.8R) design process was applied to the left and right edges and a 25R radius was applied to the top and bottom.1 The quad-bended AMOLED flexible display’s efficient circuit plan also dramatically reduces dead space around the edges of the display to 1.09 mm – a record metric for Samsung Display.
In addition to all these design advantages, the display provides very high image quality. It has quad HD (2,560 x 1,440 resolution at 577 ppi) and meets Adobe RGB at 100% with an infinite contrast ratio.1
DISPLAYS OF THE YEAR
The Displays of the Year are LG Display’s 65-in. Wallpaper OLED TV (left) and Samsung Display’s Quad-bended Flexible AMOLED Display (right).
Display Components of the Year
This award is granted for novel components that have significantly enhanced the performance of a display. A component is sold as a separate part destined to be incorporated into a display. A component may also include display-enhancing materials and/or parts fabricated with new processes.
Luminit’s Transparent Holographic Component for Motorcycle Head-up Display
Luminit’s patented holographic master recording technology has led to a number of breakthroughs in special-purpose head-mounted displays (HMDs) and head-up displays (HUDs), including, most recently, the company’s transparent holographic components (THCs). These components offer multiple opportunities for the automotive and wearables industries for head-up, helmet-mounted, or near-to-eye display systems. REYEDR, a developer of HUDs for motorcycles, created the first display product for the public that uses Luminit’s optical components.
With Luminit THC, holographic wavefronts are embedded onto a thin, clear photopolymer film that can be applied to glass or acrylic surfaces such as a helmet visor or eyeglasses. When an image is projected onto the surface, the THC translates that information into a virtual image to the viewer. The transparent film is lightweight and allows the maximum amount of light (>90%) from the forward field of view to pass through to the viewer. Because the holographic information is captured on thin, flexible film, engineers can create unique displays that would otherwise be too heavy or impractical with conventional optics. THC replaces conventional, prism-based optics with fully see-through technology that allows the images to be viewed at a virtual distance without added weight to the user.
Luminit’s THCs are the first mass-produced, volume holographic components to be utilized in displays. In the REYEDR product, the holograms are integrated into a novel, non-planar waveguide, offering improved ergonomics and industrial design relative to conventional, flat, waveguide optics. THC enables HUD systems with a virtual image, eliminating the need for eye accommodation while riding or driving. Luminit’s roll-to-roll mass production of volume holograms allows THC to enter the market at a cost point consistent with consumer electronics pricing for augmented reality.
Nanosys’s Hyperion Quantum Dots
Nanosys’s Hyperion Quantum Dots represent a significant development breakthrough for enabling displays to meet the BT.2020 ultra-high-definition (UHD) color standard. These quantum dots match the color performance of the industry’s best cadmium-based materials without requiring an exemption to the European Union’s Restriction on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive.
Nanosys has partnered with Hitachi Chemical to begin mass-producing quantum-dot enhancement film (QDEF) with Hyperion quantum dots immediately. These materials integrate seamlessly into Nanosys’s current QDEF manufacturing process.
Nanosys has demonstrated over 90% BT.2020 color gamut using Hyperion Quantum Dots in a sheet of QDEF with cadmium levels below the 100-ppm limit established by the RoHS Directive, thereby eliminating the need for an exemption. This is accomplished by combining an entirely cadmium-free red quantum dot with a green quantum dot engineered to have an exceptionally narrow emission spectrum and ultra-low cadmium content. With Hyperion quantum dots, display makers finally have a long-term, RoHS-compliant quantum dot material for BT.2020 displays.
DISPLAY COMPONENTS OF THE YEAR
The Display Components of the Year are Luminit’s Transparent Holographic Component for Motorcycle Head-up Display (left), shown here on a helmet from REYEDR, and Nanosys’s Hyperion Quantum Dots (right).
Display Applications of the Year
This award is granted for novel and outstanding applications of a display, where the display itself is not necessarily a new device.
Apple’s MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
Apple brings a new dimension of interactivity to the MacBook Pro with the revolutionary new Touch Bar. The Touch Bar is a multi-touch, Retina-resolution OLED display right on the keyboard. It delivers useful shortcuts and tools to your fingertips, based on the app you’re in and what you’re doing within it. By delivering context-specific features and controls, the Touch Bar can make an unfamiliar app more accessible to a new user, and it can empower pros by enabling greater efficiency in their workflows.
From a technical standpoint, the creation of the Touch Bar required many breakthroughs in the field of OLED displays. In particular, the Touch Bar features a Retina-resolution (221-dpi) display, which enables sharp, print-quality icons and fonts. Additionally, the Touch Bar cover glass is engineered with nano-structures to minimize surface reflection and distortion, giving the Touch Bar a look and feel that blend seamlessly into the keyboard. The inclusion of the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro also inspired enhancements to its high-luminance liquid-crystal main display. The polarizers in both displays are designed to minimize surface reflection from the other display and to reduce other ambient cross-talk. Color management is synchronized in both displays to provide matching color between the Touch Bar and the main display, an aspect that visual artists and creative pros especially appreciate. Overall, the Touch Bar marries the input and display of information within a laptop architecture in a novel way and radically reimagines the interplay of hardware and software on the MacBook Pro.
Sony’s PlayStation VR
The PlayStation VR (PS VR) is a virtual reality (VR) system that takes the PlayStation4 system to the next level of immersion, and demonstrates the future of gaming. PS VR enables players to experience a sense of presence, where they feel as though they are physically inside the virtual world of a game.
The PS VR headset is equipped with a 5.7-in. 1,920 × RGB × 1,080 resolution OLED display, which enables low persistence and removes motion blur or flicker. With
full RGB sub-pixel structure in full HD resolution and an original optical element on the top of the display, “screen door effect” (a visual artifact of displays, in which the fine lines separating pixels or subpixels become visible in the displayed image) is minimized, even with an approximately 100-degree-wide field of view.
In addition, the OLED display supports a 120Hz refresh rate and produces extremely smooth visual imagery, achieving a new level of visual experience. All those optimized display features for VR help deliver that sense of “being there” for the player. •
DISPLAY APPLICATIONS OF THE YEAR
The Display Applications of the Year are (left) Apple’s MacBook Pro with Touch Bar and (right) Sony’s PlayStation VR.
Jenny Donelan is the editor in chief of Information Display Magazine. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.