Hollywood Blockbuster: Display Week 2008 Comes to Los Angeles

The entertainment capital of the world is rolling out the red carpet for the Society for Information Display as Display Week 2008 descends upon Los Angeles this May. Just like the Hollywood blockbuster movie, Display Week is an event that cannot be missed! Here is a sneak peak at what is on tap.

by Michael Morgenthal

THERE ARE MULTIPLE REASONS why comparing Display Week 2008: The SID International Symposium, Seminar & Exhibition to a blockbuster Hollywood movie is an apt analogy. First, Display Week, the premier annual international display event in the world, is taking place May 18–23 in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A, the movie capital of the world. In fact, it is completely logical to surmise that without the display industry, there would be no movie industry, so the synergy is palpable.

Second, Display Week 2008 ends on the day that the summer blockbuster movie season begins in the U.S.– the start of the Memorial Day holiday weekend. And with its myriad segments and various technology focuses, Display Week in many ways resembles the cast and crew of the typical Hollywood blockbuster movie – with each sector and technology playing its own vital role.

So, without further ado, it is time to dim the lights, raise the curtain, and take a look at what awaits the 8000-plus attendees expected to flock to Los Angeles for Display Week 2008. For complete program and registration information, visit the official Display Week 2008 Web site at www.sid2008.org.

The Plot

Any successful movie needs an engaging plot and, for 46 years, Display Week has provided the most compelling stories in the display industry. In 2008, that is no different.

The main story, as usual, will take place during the Symposium, which kicks off Tuesday, May 20. For 2008, Display Week will feature a record 73 sessions divided into 12 broad tracks of invited and contributed papers, comprising 290 oral presentations and 260 poster presentations addressing such leading-edge topics as AMLCDs, OLEDs, plasma displays, electronic paper (e-paper), projection, microdisplays, and 3-D displays, to name a few. More on the Symposium below.

There are other secondary yet no less important plot points to which attention should be paid. Perhaps most noteworthy is a special session on 3-D digital cinema that is taking place on Wednesday, May 21, featuring some of the leading professionals in this exciting, emerging display field, and covering topics that span the full 3-D movie process – from content creation (animation and live action) and editing, to post production and stereoscopic theater display. The session will kick off with a luncheon address by Andy Hendrickson, VP of Technology for Walt Disney Animation Studios, who will delve into the evolution of display technology and the various display-related challenges and opportunities specific to the entertainment industry. (For more on the 3-D cinema special session, see the March issue of Information Display or www.informationdisplay.org.)

Another special session will focus on display applications. Co-sponsored by technology service and product supplier Avnet, Inc., the Display Applications Special Session on Thursday, May 22, offers everything attendees need to know in order to specify and design a display for a product, from the basics of how to select an appropriate display for a product, to in-depth analysis of individual display technologies, to the chance to network with leading display innovators.

One fascinating subplot at Display Week 2008 will develop during a special panel discussion on Tuesday evening, May 20, titled "AMLCD World Domination: Does Anything Stand in the Way?" This panel will host several industry experts spanning AMLCD, plasma, OLED, and projection technologies, who will discuss the proliferation of each in the context of AMLCD's current dominant market-share position. Moderated by Roger Stewart of Sourland Mountain Associates, the panel is scheduled to include an impressive roster of speakers, including Jun Souk from Samsung, Fan Luo from AU Optronics Corp., Norbert Fruehauf from the University of Stuttgart, SID President Larry Weber, consultant Fred Kahn, Mike Hack from Universal Display Corp., Nobutoshi Asai from Sony Corp., and Stewart Evans from PlasticLogic.

"The lineup of this year's Display Week is extremely exciting," noted Display Week's general chair, Amal Ghosh. "With a record number of high-caliber submissions and top presenters, the 2008 program will be unparalleled to those of years past. Moreover, we will be hosting a number of events that will delve into today's latest display trends. Some of the more notable topics include a face-off on where TV is really going, the continued growth of mobile applications, and what the display industry is bringing to the table in the area of touch technologies. We will also see more on 3-D, where we have seen Hollywood reinvigorate the technology's viability with big-budgeted feature films exhibited in stereoscopic 3-D, as well as a look at next-generation 3-D display technologies."

These special features of Display Week 2008 further complement the already jam-packed line-up filled with the annual features that have made Display Week such a vital event for the industry. These include:

• The Exhibition (May 20–22): The Display Week Exhibition is the de facto nursery of the industry, where more than 250 companies ranging in size from large Fortune 500 corporations to small startups to everything in between proudly unveil their cutting-edge display-technology developments for the first time. In addition, the Exhibitors' Forum allows exhibitors a platform to present detailed information on what is being showcased in their booths.

• The Business and Investors Conferences (May 19–21). The Business Conference will take place Monday, May 19, and Tuesday, May 20, and features an exciting lineup of senior executives from leading display industry companies, such as Corning, DuPont, Qualcomm MEMS Technologies, Novaled AG, and Kopin Corp.; industry organizations such as the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association and Plasma Display Coalition; and market analysts such as DisplaySearch, McLaughlin Consulting Group, Pacific Media Associates, and MJT Associates. The Investors Conference, co-sponsored by securities and investment banking firm Cowen & Co. LLC on Tuesday, May 20, and Wednesday, May 21, offers a forum for leading public and private display companies to present to securities analysts, portfolio managers, investors, M&A specialists, and display company executives.

• Sunday Short Courses (May 18): These four-hour classes covering the fundamentals of information displays in four vital areas: Vision and Color, Display Optics, Video, and Polymer-OLED Technology.

• Display Technology Seminars (May 19): These 12 90-minute seminars cover a wide range of topics related to the display field, including transflective displays, TFT-LCDs, FPD measurements, LCD electronics, touch-screen technology, 3-D, flexible displays, AMOLEDs, and mobile displays.

• Applications Tutorials (May 21-23): These practical and interactive 90-minute tutorials focus on the application and evaluation of electronic information displays and will cover areas such as 3-D displays and content delivery, display applications for military and harsh environments, mobile multimedia displays, lithography applied for FPDS, micro-display applications for virtual imaging, and emerging applications of electronic paper.

The Cast

As any Hollywood producer will readily admit, a good story is not enough to sell a movie – you need a star-studded cast to make a film a true blockbuster. At Display Week, the A-List cast is made up of the various display technologies that will be explored during the four-day Symposium. Each plays a distinct role that will be familiar to followers of Hollywood:

The Lead Role: LC Technology. The mark of any true Hollywood movie megastar is the ability to work in myriad roles that vary greatly, from the biggest action blockbuster to the most touching independent tearjerker. Clearly in today's display industry, the only technology with the range to pull this off is liquid-crystal (LC) technology. From the largest HDTVs to the smallest mobile-display devices, from electronic paper and flexible displays to 3-D and touch technology, LC is the unquestioned star of the display world, and has been for many years.



The Los Angeles Convention Center.


So, it should come as no surprise that LC technology once again will be the star of stars at Display Week 2008. LC's most famous role thus far has been its role in the emergence of HDTV, a technology that has reached a very mature status. One of the key areas here, according to Active-Matrix Devices subcommittee chair Takatoshi Tsujimura from Kodak, is the attempt to improve the performance of VA-mode TFT-LCDs. Tsujimura explains that VA seems to be winning the battle with IPS because it does not require a rubbing process, but VA has a drawback in that the display can wash-out when the viewer is off-angle, meaning that contrast is lost. The major approach to overcoming this issue is to make multiple gamma curves in one pixel, which can be achieved now but is complicated and expensive. Several papers address this research to try to make it easier and more cost-effective. Session 16 is devoted exclusively to this topic, with paper 16.1 from Samsung, "82-in. Ultra-Definition LCD Using New Driving Scheme and Advanced Super PVA Technology," of particular note.

But LC is just as comfortable in other smaller, emerging roles. For example, a big topic at Display Week 2008 will be electronic paper, which has four complete sessions devoted to it from amid the 11 sessions emanating from the LC Technology subcommittee. Subcommittee chair James Anderson from 3M says that they received a tremendous number of high-quality papers this year on e-paper, with a particular focus on the attempts to develop and commercialize color for e-paper displays. Anderson cited paper 46.1 from Philips Research Laboratories, "Novel Design for Full-Color Electronic Paper," as one of the more interesting approaches to achieving color e-paper.

Another focus in the e-paper arena is the desire to reduce power even further, which at first glance would not seem to be a critical issue. After all, e-paper's bistable characteristics means that power is only used to change the image on the display, not to continually display the image. However, Anderson points out that per update, most e-paper technologies consume more power than other display technologies, so for e-paper displays that are refreshed frequently – such as electronic billboards – there is a need to reduce the power consumption even further. Paper 53.1 from Magink Display Technologies, "Recent Advances in Tiled Cholesteric Billboard Displays," delves into this area.

Touch technology has been a rising star in its own right, and paper 55.1 ("An Inner Touch-Screen-Panel-Embedded 12.1-in. a-Si:H TFT-LCDs" from Samsung) and paper 55.2 ("Integrated Active-Matrix Capacitive Sensors for Touch-Panel LTPS-TFT LCDs" from Seiko Epson Corp.) explore the use of touch with AMLCDs.

Special Guest Stars. The special guest stars are enough to push any movie over the top, and the lineup of Keynote Speakers who will kick off the Display Week 2008 Symposium will expertly fill those roles.

They include:

• Paul (Shuang-Lang) Peng, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Information Technology Display Business Group, AU Optronics Corp., will discuss the evolution of green products and their introduction into the TFT-LCD industry.

• Yoshito Shiraishi, General Manager, E-Products and Business Development Department, TV Business Group, Sony Corp., will explore Sony's challenges in launching the world's first OLED TV, which features an astonishingly thin 3-mm thickness and unparalleled picture quality, as well as long-term OLED business opportunities in the display marketplace.

• Mary Lou Jepsen, Founder, Pixel Qi, will discuss the creation of One Laptop per Child (which she co-founded), its business model, and the design of the XO laptop. The display is the key in creating a low-cost low-power laptop because it is the most expensive and power-hungry component in portable consumer-electronics devices. Furthermore, it enabled a new power-management architecture and sunlight-readability capability. Jepsen will describe a future where the display will play a key role in the initial design and architecture of portable electronics devices.

Up-and-Coming Star: OLEDs. If LCD is the star of the show, in many ways OLED can be viewed as the up-and-coming star that is generating a tremendous amount of buzz. According to Denis Kondakov of Kodak, who is the chair of the OLED subcommittee, Display Week 2008 will feature one of the strongest group of OLED papers in the history of the Symposium, ranging in topic from the fundamentals of OLED technology to the manufacture of OLEDs, and everything in between.




One area that is garnering much attention in the OLED field is the continuing development and improvement in the area of white LEDs because they are much more cost efficient than building displays with three distinct types of OLED devices as subpixels. There were nearly 20 papers submitted for this subject, covering the entire spectrum of white OLED technology, from emitting materials, host and transport materials, and devices architectures for single-stack devices, to devices based on fluorescent and phosphorescent emitters, and multistack devices with two stacks having different natures. Kondakov explains that while there were significant advances made in this area, he would not describe any of the developments as a breakthrough, perhaps because this sector of OLED technology is already fairly mature, having already closely approached (or even having reached) both theoretically maximum efficiency and efficiency/lifetime appropriate for large-scale commercial applications.

There are two entire sessions devoted to white OLEDs (61 and 68), with one in each session worthy of particular attention: paper 61.3 from Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, "3.0-in. 308-ppi WVGA AMOLED by Top-Emitting White OLED with Color Filter," and paper 68.4 from Samsung Electronics, "Microcavity Design of RGBW AMOLED for 100% Color Gamut."

Other papers of note in the OLED area include papers 3.1 and 3.2, focusing on AMOLEDs, paper 8.2 focusing on OLED microdisplays for head-mounted displays, papers 22.1 and 22.2 focusing on OLED-enabling technologies, and paper 41.4 focusing on OLED materials.

Star on the Comeback Trail.

Plasma-Display Panels (PDPs). While LCD continues to grab most of the headlines, Display Week 2008 could mark an important point in the renaissance of plasma technology. Much like a once-promising actor now making a comeback, plasma will be the subject of several important papers, according to Shigeo Mikoshiba of the University of Electro-Communications, who serves on the Emissive Displays subcommittee.

Paper 34.1 is an invited paper from Matsushita/Panasonic detailing the technology that went into the construction of the company's stunning 150-in. PDP, the world's largest FPD.

Mikoshiba also pointed to two papers from Pioneer Corp., papers 21.1 and 21.2, which focus on the company's KURO plasma technology. KURO means "black" in Japanese, and these papers delve into Pioneer's new "crystal emissive layer" (CEL), which pushes plasma displays closer than ever to true black in either the on or off state. The PDP displays deeper blacks regardless of viewing angle, while lighter areas of the screen retain their brightness. In the off-state, the screen is so dark that it is virtually invisible in a dark room. These displays are already for sale in Japan.

Of course, for an actor to have a true re-birth, the focus has to be not just on current projects but future developments as well. Paper 34.2, "Development of 1 ´ 2-m Plasma Tube Array (PTA) Technologies Ready for Ultra-Large Film Display," is from the new company Shinoda Plasma Co., Ltd., and describes its breakthrough in the area of plasma tube array (PTA). According to Mikoshiba, this technology could allow for a wall to morph into a display when turned on by allowing the PDP to blend into its environment, and also could allow PDPs to be curvable, which to date has not occurred.

Supporting Roles. While the stars always receive top billing in any movie, often it is the supporting roles that are even more memorable. LCDs, OLEDs, and PDPs will clearly enjoy much of the focus at Display Week, but many other important display-technology sectors are just as noteworthy. These include:

Projection Displays: This is an exciting time for projection displays as many manufacturers are introducing pico-projectors, small projectors that are portable and can be embedded into mobile devices, according to Projection subcommittee chair Ed English from 3M. Session 70 will be exclusively devoted to this area, including paper 70.2 from Light Blue Optics, on a potentially revolutionary "Holographic Laser Projection Technology."

Session 63 will cover New Projection Light Sources, with talks from Explay on Red Laser Array Light Sources; Corning and Konica Minolta on Efficient and Compact Green Lasers, and Nichia Corp. on Continuous-Wave Blue-Laser Diodes. Here, the development of light sources that are low cost, durable, low power, and meet the requirements of projection systems is key.

Lastly, paper 56.1 from Sony Corp., "High Frame Rate, High Contrast Laser Grating Light Valve Projection Display," will detail the latest developments in the company's decade-long attempts at developing extremely high-resolution wide-angle projection displays. The company has previously demonstrated this technology on screens as large as 10 m high x 50 m wide.

Display Measurement: This is another category that has received more valuable papers than ever before, according to Stephen Atwood, Chair of the Display Measurement subcommittee, thanks to the work being done in the TFT-LCD sphere. There are six separate, unique papers on motion-blur characterization and measurement, and several more on mura measurement.

Paper 4.1 will explore the work that has been done to establish a new FPD measurement standard called ICDM (for more on this, see the February issue of Information Display or www.informationdisplay.org). In addition, paper 4.2 from autronic-Melchers looks at reflective LCD measurements methodology, an area where many display people have been advocating for standardization. Atwood believes this paper could lay the groundwork for the establishment of just such a standard. Poster paper 92 from IRCCyN, University of Nantes, Nantes, France, addresses motion-blur estimation in LCDs in a novel way, and points to the increasing convergence between the measurement community and the applied-vision community, working toward the holy grail of electronic vision recognition that is still decades away. Paper 10.2, "Motion-Artifact Analysis on Scanning-Backlight LCD," from Southeast University School of Electronic Science and Engineering, and Philips also points to this convergence by examining the fundamentals of modulated backlight approach to eliminating motion blur.




FEDs: Field-emission displays (FEDs)re-emerged on the scene at Display Week 2007, and in 2008 there are two dedicated sessions to this display technology. Paper 7.1, "Technologies and Prospect of Fine-Pitch FED Monitor," is from Sony's FED venture business, Field Emission Technologies, Inc., and describes its prototype in this area, with a focus on the motion-blur-free line-sequential impulse drive system. Many of the other papers in this area deal with carbon nanotubes (CNTs) for use in FEDs. It is difficult to achieve uniformity of luminance and color with CNTs, according to FED subcommittee chair Masayuki Nakamoto of Shizuoka University, so much of the research is directed toward conquering this problem both within CNTs and with other nano-materials such as nanowires.

3-D: It is also an extremely exciting time for 3-D displays, as technology finally starts to catch up to the imagination. In addition to the special session referenced above on 3-D digital cinema, there are some other note-worthy developments. Paper 25.1, "Multi-Viewer Autostereoscopic Display with Dynamically Addressable Holographic Backlight" from Light Blue Optics discusses the use of a novel laser-based holographic projection system to tackle the problems incurred by a dynamically addressable movable backlight in autostereoscopic display systems for multiple viewers simultaneously. Paper 25.4, "Beyond Flat Panels: Multi-Layered Displays with Real Depth" from PureDepth focuses on stacking multiple LCD panels on top of each other to create a 3-D display. PureDepth recently collaborated on such displays with Samsung, according to Display Systems subcommittee chair Brian Schowengerdt, so there is tremendous potential in this technology turning into a real product.


The synergy between the display industry and the entertainment industry has never been more evident, which makes Los Angeles the perfect setting for Display Week 2008. Like the year's biggest Hollywood blockbuster movie, Display Week 2008 will be the one event of the year that everyone will be talking about. We'll see you in Los Angeles! •


Michael Morgenthal is Managing Editor of Information Display Magazine; e-mail: mmorgenthal@pcm411.com