A Night at Billy Bob's


Billy Bob's Texas is a Fort Worth institution, a huge barn of a place that serves up generous helpings of country music and Texas barbecue. It was the site of the reception for the First Americas Display Engineering & Applications Conference (ADEAC) held October 25–27, 2004.

ADEAC was created to provide system and product designers with comprehensive instruction and guidance on the selection of displays, display devices and components, and display electronics for integration into products for any application. The night at Billy Bob's followed the day of tutorials that opened ADEAC. Following an overview by Kimberly Allen (iSuppli Corp.) that introduced the different display technologies and the issues surging around them, Ian Miller (Samsung Information Systems America) presented a tutorial entitled "LCD-Monitor Design." In explaining what it takes for an LCD monitor to be technically and financially successful in a particular targeted market, Miller spent more time talking about electronic, mechanical, and design considerations than he did about LCD technology – although there was a good deal of that, too.

In "Technologies for Portable Displays," Jyrki Kimmel (Nokia Research Center) spent a substantial amount of his time on user-interface styles and digital communications networks, as well as on display technologies for mobile handsets. Kimmel thinks the choices for main displays are primarily among different types of LCDs, with even OLEDs having an uphill battle ahead of them to compete in large-scale markets.

Nikhil Balram (National Semiconductor Corp., Displays Group) presented an information-packed two hours on "Video Fundamentals" that focused on the electronics system-level architecture of a typical digital mirror. The basic functionality of the main building blocks and the types of partitioning that are typical in current display-electronics ICs were explained.

There were also tutorials by Terry Schmidt (Christie Digital Systems) on projection displays, Charles Poynton (Consultant) on visual-performance metrics, and Gabriel Marcu (Apple Computer) on managing color performance in displays.

A very intentional common thread in these tutorials was the critical importance to display-containing products of electronics and other disciplines at least somewhat outside the narrow definitions of display technology. You will see that same thread in this issue ofInformation Display, which is dedicated to display electronics, from mobile-display electronics, through video electronics, to machine vision for large touch displays.

Both ADEAC and this Display-Electronics Issue of ID are responding to the reality that the display is one of many components in a product, and the product will be successful only if both the display and its related electronics are optimized together to serve user needs.

That's what I was thinking about during my night at Billy Bob's.


We welcome your comments and suggestions. You can reach me by e-mail at kwerner@ nutmegconsultants.com, fax at 203/855-9769, or phone at 203/853-7069. The contents of upcoming issues of ID are available on the SID Web site (http://www.sid.org).