Nine Burning Questions That Will Be Answered at the 2006 SID Symposium

The annual SID Symposium brings together the world's best display technology. Here are nine key questions that will be answered at SID 2006 in San Francisco this June.

by Michael Morgenthal and Jessica Quandt

A LOT CAN CHANGE IN 23 YEARS. When the SID International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition last took place in San Francisco, California, in 1984, it was a completely different event than it is today. In 1984, the Symposium featured 20 sessions with a total of 90 papers, with cathode-ray-tube (CRT) technology being the main subject of the day. The exhibition featured only 50 companies. The entire event took place at the San Francisco Hilton.

Fast-forward to this year's Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition, which returns to San Francisco in the roomier environs of San Francisco's Moscone Convention Center from June 4–9, 2006. SID needs all that space, for in the intervening two decades, its signature event has experienced tremendous growth. A record 540 oral and poster papers have been accepted for presentation at the Symposium. The Exhibition will feature in excess of 250 display companies from around the world, occupying over 500 booths. More than 8000 attendees are expected at SID 2006, which would make it the best-attended event in the 44-year history of the show. And the venerable CRT, the standard-bearer for the display industry lo these many years, is not represented in a single paper at SID 2006!

Of course, technologies that were just dreams in 1984 have now come to the forefront of the display world – liquid-crystal displays (LCDs), organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), plasma-display panels (PDPs), field-emission displays (FEDs), just to name a few – making SID 2006 much more difficult to navigate than when SID last visited the City by the Bay.

"We continue to see a rapid pace of innovation across all segments of the display industry," states Dr. Wei Chen of Apple Computer, Inc., SID 2006's General Chair. "Our attendees will be dazzled by the latest advances in display technology that will be reported at SID 2006."

The Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco, California, is the site of the SID 2006 International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition.

Mike Morgenthal is the Managing Editor of Information Display magazine; telephone 212/460-9700, e-mail: mmorgenthal@ Jessica Quandt is Editorial Associate for Information Display; e-mail:


To help make your visit to SID 2006 easier, or to convince you to attend, we offer a preview of the Nine Burning Questions that will be answered at SID 2006. These are by no means the only questions that will be answered at SID 2006, but they are among the most important. To view the complete SID program, and for the most comprehensive information on SID 2006, including how to register, visit

Where Does OLED Technology Go Next?

Thirteen of the 70 technical sessions at SID 2006 are devoted to organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), the most of any single technology. Julie Brown of Universal Display Corp., who chairs the SID 2006 OLED subcommittee, explains that the OLED presentations at SID 2006 represent a "year of innovation."

"[The OLED papers will address] what takes us out in the future to really discriminate against LCDs and CRTs," she adds. "So it is really, I think, the year of innovation. Next year will probably be the year of products."

A key for OLEDs battling for market share is the ability to mass-produce large-screen OLED displays. A key breakthrough will be presented by the German firm Novaled in a paper to be given on Wednesday, June 7, Brown states. The paper, "White-OLED Structures Using Molecularly Doped Charge-Transport Layers," will detail an ultra-low-voltage high-efficiency white OLED. "As people are thinking about making large-area OLED displays, they are thinking about doing white through color filters or ink-jet printing, or RGB side-by-side pixelation," she adds. "Getting very, very high-efficiency low-voltage white devices to feed into the large-area OLED is very key."

Another noteworthy OLED innovation will be unveiled by Chunghwa Picture Tubes, Ltd., on Thursday, June 8, in "An Effective Inverted OLED Structure for a 2.2-in. Full-Color AMOLED Display on an a-Si TFT Backplane." Brown explains that researchers in the OLED field have been dreaming of fabricating an inverted OLED for years because it would allow the use of amorphous silicon in the backplane, but it has not been done before.

There are many OLED papers of note, but two more are worth highlighting here, both of which are part of Session 40 on Thursday, June 8.

"The Challenges in Making High-Resolution Active-Matrix OLEDs," by AU Optronics Corp., will detail several approaches for achieving high-resolution AMOLEDs, along with their limitations. It will include discussion of the latest breakthrough in increasing the display resolution without increasing the resolution or cost of the shadow mask. This is done by using a novel subpixel design that allows a display with a 270-ppi resolution to be successfully achieved on a VGA-format active-matrix OLED (AMOLED) by using a 144-ppi resolution shadow mask.

"AMOLED Technology for Mobile Displays," presented by Samsung SDI, examines key issues in AMOLED technology for mobile displays and offers solutions to resolve these issues, including the development of blue phosphorescent materials and high-resolution color patterning using laser-induced thermal imaging.

There are several innovations in flexible OLEDs that will be detailed at SID 2006; for more on these papers, see the "What Is the Future of Flexible Displays and Electronic Paper?" section below.



The SID 2006 Keynote Speakers. From left to right: Bock Kwon, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer for LG.Philips LCD; Paul E. Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer of Qualcomm, Inc.; and Takeshi Uenoyama, Director, Advanced Technology Research Laboratories and Image Devices Development Center at Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.


Is the Battle Between LCDs vs. PDP Still Raging?

In the war between the two dominant large-sized displays currently on the market, the innovations at SID 2006 will be relatively simple to spot. The LCD camp is aiming for increased performance overall, with a focus on viewing angles, while the plasma camp will try to show that it can produce full high-definition (HD) displays to compete with LCD TVs.

These technologies will be addressed in two of the Keynote Addresses, which will kick off the Technical Symposium on Tuesday, June 6. Bock Kwon, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing & Sales Officer for LG.Philips LCD, will offer "A Perspective on the TFT-LCD industry," in which he will discuss how thin-film-transistor LCD (TFT-LCD) manufacturers, including his company, have driven LCD growth via consistent technological innovation in both products and manufacturing facilities, and how recent innovations will support further market growth.

Following Kwon, Takeshi Uenoyama, Director, Advanced Technology Research Laboratories and Image Devices Development Center at Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd., will deliver "Large-Sized FPDs: The Driving Forces for Real-Life Viewing Experiences at Home." Uenoyama will detail Panasonic's strategy for the flat-panel-display (FPD) TV market, which calls for PDPs for large-sized TVs and LCDs for small-sized TVs.

Session 69 on Friday, June 9, will feature two noteworthy invited papers on LCD TV. The first, "Advancements for Highest-Performance LCD TV" by Samsung Electronics Inc., will cover the latest LCD-TV developments at Samsung, including improved on- and off-axis color performance, new pixel design for improved transmittance, higher static contrast ratio, and reduced motion blur.

Next up is a paper from Hitachi, the leader in viewing-angle technology for LCD TV, according to Dr. John Z. Zhong, Engineering Manager, Flat Panel Displays at Apple Computer, Inc., who chairs the SID 2006 Active Matrix subcommittee. Hitachi's "Progress of IPS-Pro Technology for LCD TVs" is one of two papers that the Japanese company will present on In-Plane Switching (IPS) technology. Here, the presentation will detail how a new IPS cell structure and driving-method technology have improved the contrast ratio to more than 1000:1 and the moving-picture response time to less than 10 msec for 32-in. TFT-LCDs.

On the plasma side, the big breakthroughs will be presented in papers showing that full-HD 1080p progressive-scan plasma TVs are on the horizon. Papers by the major players in the plasma market – Samsung, Pioneer, and Panasonic – show how much is at stake here.

"This is very important because the LCD boys said, 'Ha ha, plasma will never be able to make a 1080p progressive scan TV.' And bingo, here it is," explains Dr. Harm Tolner, who chairs the SID 2006 Emissive Displays subcommittee. "This is a big breakthrough."

Tolner was referring to an invited paper to be delivered by Samsung SDI, entitled "Performance- and Cost-Oriented Full-HD PDPs with High Picture Quality for 42 in. and Smaller Sizes," which will be presented on Tuesday, June 6, and will detail the challenges behind making this a commercially viable product.

"It is most important to see that the 42-in. 1080p scan is possible," Tolner continues. "It's not needed for the customer, but it is possible. The product will be there to show that PDP also can do the same high-resolution full HD at the 42-in. size (as LCDs)."

Pioneer will present a paper during the same session, Session 12, on its full-HD progressive-scan plasma TV, entitled "Development of 50-in.-Diagonal Full-HD (1920 ´ 1080) PDPs." Pioneer will detail how it solved the problems that "finer-pitch" plasmas frequently encounter in terms of lower luminous efficacy, longer address time, and smaller driving margin.

"This is interesting because it has been enabled by a new type of protective layer," Tolner explains. Another paper by Samsung, "New Polycrystalline MgO for a Thermally Stable and Fast Delay Time in ACPDPs," to be presented on Wednesday, June 7, will also present a new type of protective layer, and for the first time will reveal the positive results – lowering the delay time, improving thermal stability, and lowering the firing voltage – achieved with this new innovation.

A third paper during Session 12, "New Findings on Display Performance in Large-Sized PDPs," will be presented by Panasonic, detailing how the performance of its 65-in. 1920 ´ 1080 PDP TV was better than expected.

Will Alternative Light Sources Shine Through in 2006?

Since light sources represent the most expensive and most power-consuming components in many displays, papers that propose cheaper, more-energy-efficient lighting for displays will receive a tremendous amount of attention at SID 2006. There are four sessions devoted to backlights, plus many other papers sprinkled throughout the program that address this vital issue.

"Breakthrough light sources for front- and rear-projection displays … are enabling new televisions, pocket projectors, and cinema projectors," explains Dave Slobodin of InFocus Corp., who chairs the SID 2006 Projection subcommittee. "Brightness is improving new core factors. And (breakthrough light sources) are also enabling the miniaturization of projectors."

The most talked-about alternative light source is light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and several papers address breakthroughs in this area, both for projection displays and LCDs.

On Thursday, June 8, Luminus Devices, Inc. (LDI), will present a paper entitled "Photonic Lattice LEDs for RPTV Light Engines," that proposes a chipset based on photonic lattice technology that enables microdisplay-based rear-projection televisions with screen sizes of 60 in. and larger. Their unique design and emission characteristics are optimized for coupling light into small étendue light engines, which allows for very high system efficiency.

Also on Thursday, a paper will be presented by National Chiao Tung University in Taiwan, entitled "A Novel Direct-LED-Backlight Unit Using a Grooved Hexagonal Light-Guide Plate." According to Dave Eccles, who chairs the SID 2006 Display Systems subcommittee, this novel large-sized backlight unit offers better dimming options, low power, and is mercury free. According to the abstract, the backlight unit with optimum groove angle is thinner and can reduce the number of LEDs from 96 to 42. The backlight achieves 81% uniformity, which is superior to that of CCFL and conventional LED backlights.

On Friday, June 9, "Performance of High-Power LEDs in Projection Applications" will be presented by Philips Lumileds Lighting. This paper will offer an outlook of the luminance performance of high-power LEDs, which are potentially attractive projection light sources because of their color, lifetime, speed, and environmental benefits.

But new approaches to light sources are not limited to LEDs. In "Brightness Preservation for LCD Backlight Reduction" on Wednesday, June 7, Sharp Laboratories of America will propose a method to improve image quality and power savings in LCDs that will lead to more gradual, natural images.

New Topics Highlight Programs at Display Technology Seminars and Application Tutorials

Always among the more popular elements of the SID International Symposium, Seminar, and Exhibition, the Display Technology Seminars and Applications Tutorials have been revamped for 2006 to provide attendees with the most up-to-date information and perspective.

The Display Technology Seminars feature 10 new topics this year. Tutorial in nature, the seminars detail the technical foundations of a given topic, discuss recent technical advances, and analyze current state of the art and future trends. They are designed for professionals with all levels of display experience, from engineers new to the display field, to industry veterans looking for updates in their fields, to managers seeking broad perspective on recent developments in displays.

"Even the repeat seminars ("LCD TV Electronics" and "OLED Manufacturing Technology") have been changed and updated to be interesting to the audience this year," said Willem den Boer of ScanVue Technologies LLC, chair of the 2006 Display Technology Seminars.

This year's seminars will take place Monday, June 4, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm. The schedule is as follows:

The Applications Tutorials will reflect the ever-changing technology behind displays with five new topics. Only one topic is a holdover from 2005 (Display Measurements for Flat-Panel Displays).

"I think the Application Tutorials complement the Symposium and provide an opportunity for the attendees to learn about topics of high interest in display technology," said Tutorials Chair Kalluri Sarma of Honeywell, Inc. "Even for those who attended last year, they would benefit by attending again as the topics are new and important."

This year's Tutorials will take place in parallel sessions from 7:30 to 9:00 am on Wednesday, June 7, Thursday, June 8, and Friday, June 9. The schedule is as follows:

Emissive Track
Non-Emissive Track
Miscellaneous Track
8:30–10:00 am
Race for TVs with Higher
Luminous Efficiency,
by Larry Weber, Consultant,
SID President
LED's Potential to End
CCFL's Dominance,
by Munisamy Anandan,
Organic Lighting Technologies
3-D Displays,
by Pat Green,
Planar Systems, Inc.
10:30 am–12:00 pm
OLED Manufacturing Technology,
by Gopalan Rajeswaran,
Eastman Kodak Co.
by C. T. Liu,
AU Optronics Corp.
FPD Measurement Techniques,
by Thierry Leroux,
1:30–3:00 pm
Poly-OLED Technology,
by Jonathan Halls,
CDT, Ltd.
Reflective Display Technologies,
by Paul Drzaic,
Drzaic Consulting
Image Artifacts:
Causes and Remedies,
by Jim Larimer,
Image Metrics
3:30–5:00 pm
Nanotechnology for Displays,
by Aron Vecht,
Aron Vecht Associates
Optical Enhancement of AMLCDs,
by Adi Abileah,
Planar Systems, Inc.
LCD-TV Electronics,
by Dick McCartney,
National Semiconductor

Wednesday, June 7

• "Active-Matrix-Addressing Technologies for Flat-Panel Displays," by Norbert Fruehauf, University of Stuttgart.
• "Liquid-Crystal Technology for Display Applications" by Phil Bos, Liquid Crystal Institute, Kent State University.

Thursday, June 8

• "Emerging Displays Among Giants" by Kimberly Allen, iSuppli Corp., Director of Display Technology and Strategy
• "High-Resolution Displays: Path to What the Eye Demands" by Mark Fihn, Veritas et Visus.

Friday, June 9

• "LCD Backlighting" by Kalil Käläntär, Nippon Leiz Corp.
• "Flat Panel Display Measurements" by Ed Kelly, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Lasers are also being promoted as light engines in projectors, and one of the most innovative developments will be discussed by Novalux in "Low-Cost Lasers for Projection Displays," which will be presented on Friday, June 9. Novalux will detail how semiconductor lasers have been developed and demonstrated as high brightness, efficient, reliable, low cost, and manufacturable light sources for rear, front, and scanning projectors.

Last but not least, on Thursday, June 8, Philips Research Laboratories will present the paper, "Compact Power Lights for High-End Projection Applications," a new breakthrough high-pressure mercury lamp that Slobodin explains holds the promise of replacing the huge, dangerous xenon lamps for high-brightness projectors with high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps offering superior efficiency, size, and explosion safety.

What is the Future of Flexible Displays and Electronic Paper?

Based on the papers to be presented at SID 2006, it seems that the variations of flexible displays that are in development are limited only by the scope of the imaginations of display engineers. There are two sessions devoted to flexible displays, and another two that exclusively cover electronic paper. This year, in particular, there seems to be an emphasis on alternative materials to be used in flexible displays, be it steel foil, liquid powder, elastomer, or countless others.

One material making an impact at SID 2006 will be flexible steel foil. Two companies, Universal Display Corp. (UDC) and Samsung SDI Co., will each present their respective versions of the world's first full-color active-matrix organic light-emitting diodes (AMOLEDs) on flexible steel foil during Session 64 on Friday, June 9. Steel foil is a good alternative to traditional plastic substrates because it is thin, lightweight, and rugged, but less expensive than the plastic traditionally used in flexible displays. Both companies' products promise low power consumption and high resolution (UDC's is 100 dpi, Samsung's is 66 ppi).

"There have been monochrome and full-color passive-matrix flexible OLED displays, but these are the world's first full-color AMOLEDs on steel foil," says Brown, the chair of the OLED subcommittee.

Clearly, electronic paper is one of the key products under the flexible displays. During Session 68 on Friday, Bridgestone Corp. will present "Color and Flexible Electronic-Paper Display Using QR-LPD Technology," which will detail how Quick-Response Liquid Power Displays (QR-LPDs) are manufactured using color liquid powder, plus black and white liquid powders with color filters, resulting in a multistable color display with a paper-like appearance. Bridgestone has also developed a roll-to-roll low-cost flexible-substrate QR-LPD manufacturing process with high throughput in order to reduce production costs.

Researchers at the Seoul National University School of Electrical Engineering have developed a flexible display using yet another novel material: an elastomer substrate on plastic that allows for a tighter bending radius than the two layers of plastic traditionally used for flexible displays. The poster paper, entitled "Highly Bendable Flexible LCD with an Elastomer Substrate Fabricated by Replica Molding Method," details the durable display, which can be bent to a radius of about 10 mm.

Does 2006 Mark the Death Knell for CRT Research?

In 2006, for the first time ever in the event's history, the Symposium will see no CRT papers presented.

"It is too soon to talk about the CRT being dead," says Chris Curtin, a displays consultant who chairs the SID 2006 FED subcommittee. "But … new CRT developments have been dropping steadily over the last decade."

According to Curtin, CRT engineers decided to concentrate their papers at the December 2005 International Display Workshops in Japan, prompting the only CRT paper submission for SID 2006 to later be withdrawn. So, conference organizers renamed the "CRTs & FEDs" track as simply "FEDs," since all papers in this track will cover the emerging field-emission-display (FED) technology.

Standout FED papers at SID 2006 include "Recent Improvements in Brightness and Color Gamut of Carbon Nanotube (CNT) FEDs," from Samsung SDI, which will be presented Friday, June 9. It introduces an FED prototype with improved display quality. The paper's authors promise to show the structure and characteristics of the prototype at SID in San Francisco.

"This technology has been under development for the last 15 years and people are waiting, waiting, waiting. And now people are wondering: 'What's going on, and will anything emerge?'" Curtain explains. "But any time you get a significant paper such as the Samsung paper, people start to think, 'Well, maybe something's finally going to emerge.' But we're not talking blockbuster. We're not talking big surprise. Just evolutionary."

A second noteworthy FED paper will be presented on Thursday, June 8, by Asahi Glass Co., Ltd. and the Tokyo Institute of Technology. "Highly Efficient Field Emission of Spin-Coated Electride with a Small Work Function" will offer a look at the authors' simple fabrication technique of field-emission devices using a spin-coated C12A7 electride.

Are Breakthroughs in 3-D Near?

Three sessions of the Symposium will be devoted to the rapidly growing area of 3-D displays. Several papers at SID 2006 address the key issue of how to keep the 3-D image from breaking up when being viewed.

Ocuity, Ltd., will present "Resolution Artifacts in Multi-View Autostereoscopic 2-D/3-D Displays" on Tuesday, June 6, which will look at how resolution is affected when going from 2-D to 3-D displays, according to Dr. Ingrid Heynderickx, Principal Scientist, Group Video Processing and Visual Perception, Philips Research, the co-chair of the SID 2006 Applied Vision subcommittee for SID 2006.

"It's a good fundamental overview of how you have to tackle that problem," she continues. "Usually [a 3-D display is] a multi-view display, so that means that you're losing spatial resolution, and [this paper discusses] how to find the balance between the two."

Another intriguing paper to be given on Tuesday is from the University of California at Berkeley, entitled "Achieving Near-Correct Focus Cues in a 3-D Display Using Multiple Image Planes." The paper discusses a stereo-display prototype having multiple image planes to present near-correct focus cues, which often specify inappropriate 3-D scene parameters in conventional displays because the light comes from a single surface, independent of the depth relations in the scene.

Is Low-Cost High-Efficiency Display Manufacturing Plausible?

As the display industry continues to expand and billions upon billions of dollars are spent on the construction of new factories, the need for low-cost high-efficiency display manufacturing solutions has taken on increasing importance. This is the focus of several noteworthy papers in the Display Manufacturing category at SID 2006.

Qualcomm recently began the development and manufacture of iMoD displays, a micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) based reflective display technology optimized for mobile electronics displays. Qualcomm hopes that the mobile-phone industry will embrace iMoD. The company will present two papers on the technology during Session 71 on Friday, June 9: One will discuss the challenges of shifting iMoD displays from development to commercial production, the other will focus on the manufacture of the iMoD displays.

Two notable papers from Seiko-Epson on ink-jet printing for TFT FPDs will be presented on Thursday, June 8, as part of Session 48. Both papers explain how the ink-jet process reduces costs and energy consumption because materials are used only where needed, and because factories using the technology do not require vacuum or photolithography equipment.

"Low-Temperature Polycrystalline-Silicon (LTPS) TFTs with Ink-Jet Printed Gate Electrodes" describes a fine gate-structured TFT that was fabricated using ink-jet printing.

"Fabrication and Reliability of Low-Temperature Polycrystalline-Silicon TFTs with Ink-Jet Interconnections" serves as an announcement that the company has already succeeded in using the ink-jet process to partially produce TFTs. The paper describes "a fine gate-structured TFT that we fabricated using a photosensitive interlayer dielectric as a partition" and its fabrication process, but acknowledges the technique has not yet been applied to LTPS-TFT backplanes for active-matrix displays because they require a higher level of accuracy.

"There are more components to a TFT, but this is an important first step," explains Elliot Schlam, who chairs the SID 2006 Display Manufacturing subcommittee. "This would substantially reduce the capital cost and very likely increase the throughput, and reduce the materials cost. So it would have a positive impact."

Are Low Power Displays On The Horizon?

As mobile displays become more ubiquitous and more in demand, the need for low-power displays continues to be one that the display industry strives to address. This will be one of the themes of the final Keynote Address at SID 2006, "A Revolution in Display Technology: Enabling Next-Generation Wireless Communications," to be delivered by Paul E. Jacobs, Chief Executive Officer of Qualcomm,Inc. His talk will delve into how – in order to continue the evolution of mobile phones from mere voice-communication tools into vehicles for entertainment, computing, and information access – mobile displays must evolve to be visible in a wider range of lighting conditions while using less power.

One breakthrough in this area will be addressed in "Ultra-Low-Power LTPS TFT-LCD Technology Using a Multi-Bit Pixel Memory Circuit," a paper from Sony Corp. that will be presented on Wednesday, June 7. Sony has developed two displays – a 1.3-in. 116-ppi LCD having 2-bit pixel memories and a 1.5-in. 130-ppi LCD having 5-bit memories – that each consume less than 100 μW of power, making this a very intriguing possibility for mobile displays. The issue of low power will also be addressed in papers in the OLED and backlighting fields.

Can Display Measurements Get Quicker While Improving Accuracy?

This year, authors presenting at SID will discuss the newest methods for quicker, higher-quality testing of displays.

"High-Throughput Viewing-Angle Measurements Using an Imaging Sphere," which will be presented on Tuesday, June 6, by Radiant Imaging, will explore the use of a camera and an imaging sphere to measure brightness and color as a function of angle.

"I think the significant part is that it's relatively simple," said Rockwell Collins Principal Optics Engineer Thomas Fiske, who serves on the SID 2006 Display Measurements subcommittee. "It will probably be inexpensive, and it can deliver a high throughput. So it's pointed at in-process measurement for display systems."

Another noteworthy Display Measurements paper will be delivered by researchers from Eastman Kodak Co. "Determining OLED Power Consumption for Defined Applications," which also will be presented on Tuesday, proposes a new method for determining power consumption based on image content. The paper advocates calculating the average power of a display using knowledge of the distribution of the colors that will be displayed for a specific application.

"You could use this, for example, in a usage model for a display," Fiske said. "It's saying, 'In any way that you could use a display, how much power is it going to use?'"

This means designers could gauge what technology – OLED, LCD, etc. – would be most appropriate for their products based on how much energy each type of display would consume. •