2016 Display Industry Awards

This Year’s Winners: A Fun and Compelling Group

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

THIS year’s seven Display Industry Award winners (two displays, three components, and two applications) have fun on their side. While we honor products and technologies because we believe they will make our lives easier, safer, more productive, and so on, there’s also something to be said for products that just plain make you eager to use them. This is true of every one of this year’s award recipients. Consider the two Display of the Year winners: Apple’s iPad Pro display and Sharp’s 70-in. 8K LCD TV. The new iPad uses Apple’s ProMotion technology, with a 120-Hz refresh rate that brings a new standard of realism to the hand-held display experience while also extending precious battery life. And if home theater is your thing, is there anything more you really need to know about an incredible 70-in. 8K TV, except how much it costs and where do you get one?

The category of components might seem less exciting at first glance, but what about Continental’s 3D Touch Surface, which uses haptics to help you control your in-vehicle display content so you can use it while hurtling down the highway and keeping your eyes on the road? A safety feature for sure, but haptics done right are also very pleasing to use. As for the second winner in this category, Kolon Industries’ colorless polyimide, it’s going to be a key factor in making all those futuristic folded and rolled displays into the stunning performers we’ve been promised. And Synaptics’ in-display fingerprint sensor adds a “touch” of cool to your HMI along with convenient and robust security authentication capability.

Applications are always fun, and the iPhone X, Apple’s first OLED phone, offers more screen and less non-screen than any of its predecessors. The home button is gone at last, and the whole experience lives on the beautiful 458-ppi OLED display. The second winner in the applications category, LG Display’s Crystal Sound, integrates sound right into an OLED TV, so that your audio and visual are coming from the same place, just like they do in the real world.

There’s just something about this year’s group of award winners that makes us want to go out and buy them, touch them, and use them. It’s exciting when design and technological advances align to create products that demonstrate this kind of innovation and continuous improvement.

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.

Apple’s iPad Pro Display

The latest iPad Pro displays come in 10.5-in. and 12.9-in. sizes, each featuring the same 264-ppi pixel density, corresponding to 3.7 million and 5.6 million pixels, respectively. These iPad Pros also offer unparalleled visual performance enabled by Apple’s innovative ProMotion technology. This is the first time that a mainstream consumer-product display has delivered adaptive screen-refresh rates ranging from 24 Hz to 120 Hz. The 120-Hz refresh rate provides an unprecedented visual experience, with fluid scrolling, excellent touch response (for both finger and Apple pencil input), and smooth motion content. The lower refresh rate can be enabled depending on real-time on-screen content requirements, reducing overall panel power without image-quality compromise. To achieve the ProMotion display technology, a new high-performance oxide TFT with high mobility and low leakage current was developed, as well as newly engineered liquid-crystal materials with low flexoelectricity, and advanced photoalignment materials and processes.

In addition, a highly customized display timing controller (TCON) was developed from scratch for this generation of iPad Pro displays. The controller is designed to work seamlessly with the system on chip (SOC) – the Apple A10X fusion chip – which works with iOS, to deliver the stunning retina ProMotion display. By demonstrating the advantages of the unique property of oxide TFT, iPad Pro displays will help accelerate the display industry’s transition to 120-Hz technology.

Sharp Corp.’s 70-in. 8K LCD TV

On August 31, 2017, Sharp announced the release of the AQUOS 8K series of 8K-compatible TVs and displays, a world first. 8K is a revolutionary technology for ultra-high-definition images, with 16 times the resolution of full high definition, which cannot be expressed with 4K images. 8K reproduces images at ultimate reality, with ultra-fine details smaller than the eye can see. Apart from being used to display TV broadcasts and other media content, 8K will dramatically impact many aspects of our lives: medical care, business, security, signage, etc.

Sharp’s 70-in. 8K-resolution LCD TV has the following features:
•  Resolution: 7,680 × 4,320 pixels
•  Luminance: Full white 400 cd/m2
•  Peak white: 1,000 cd/m2
•  Contrast: 4,000:1 (dynamic contrast using local dimming is 1,000,000:1)
•  Color gamut: BT. 2020 coverage ratio 86 percent (CIE 1976 uʹvʹ color space)
•  Maximum power consumption: 470 (W) for Japanese 8K TV model
•  8K signal input with HDMI 4 cables and 8K static imagery via USB flash memory

Sharp has been leading the industry by releasing 8K-related products in Japan. In October 2015, the company released an 85-in. 8K professional monitor using an 8K LCD panel with an indium-gallium zinc-oxide (IGZO) backplane and followed up in June 2017 with the release of a 70-in. 8K professional monitor. Sharp is eager to bring worldwide consumers the thrill of this revolutionary technology, and to this end has released the world’s first 8K TVs in Japan and China, and the world’s first 8K displays in Taiwan and Europe. Sharp is also complementing its 8K TVs by accelerating development of 8K broadcast receivers, 8K cameras, and other 8K products to help establish a global 8K ecosystem.



The Displays of the Year are Apple’s iPad Pro display (left) and (right) Sharp’s 70-in. 8K LCD TV.

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.

Continental Automotive GmbH’s 3D Touch Surface

Continental’s 3D Touch Surface display, the world’s first touchscreen with a 3D surface on top of a display, engages multiple senses to create a holistic and intuitive interaction.

Growing demand among users for new features and integration of digital content has resulted in bigger and bigger in-vehicle touchscreens. However, large-size touch displays tend to increase driver distraction. The 3D Touch Surface Display strongly supports the intuitive locating of control elements on large touchscreens while at the same time providing a reliable confirmation of a successful operation.

Control elements on the display surface, including buttons, sliders, and flat regions, can be easily identified just by feeling the edges of the topographic hills and valleys. The completion of an interactive task is confirmed with active haptic feedback, which provides the user with a safety-enhancing mechanical confirmation that the chosen screen element has been activated. The impulse is provided in the form of a short and highly precise mechanical momentum that is transferred to the display surface after having exceeded a certain force threshold; any mechanized movement of the display is completely invisible to the naked eye. With active haptic feedback coming from screen-element edges, users can also distinguish among virtual buttons or even flat areas without having to look at the screen. The actuators can be finely controlled based on force and acceleration, which makes different haptic characteristics possible.

The surface of the 15-in. demonstrator features topographical elements with hills and valleys of up to 10 mm. The touch surface itself is generated by forming a touch-sensitive film into the final 3D surface, which comprises buttons, sliders, and flat display areas. To optimize the contrast of the 3D Touch Surface Display, Continental has employed optical bonding and homogeneously tinted materials.

In terms of design individualization, the 3D elements allow brand-specific differentiation. The implemented technology enables the distribution of 3D soft keys or soft sliders in a flexible way on the display surface to match the design and user interaction philosophy of the car brand.

From a user experience point of view, this display solution not only allows for exciting design, but ensures that drivers can operate the various functions without having to take their eyes off the road. As human machine interfaces become ever more complex, the combination of active-haptic feedback and passive feedback from the 3D surface ensures an outstanding user experience and significantly improves operational safety.

Kolon Industries’ Colorless Polyimide

Emerging concepts for the next generation of consumer devices demand more flexible displays to enable a variety of form factors. The promise of these displays is that they can be folded or even rolled and will offer the strength and transparency needed to replace the glass-based displays used in many of today’s devices.

Kolon Industries has helped fulfill this promise with its Colorless Polyimide (CPI) – a powerful and optimized solution backed by more than 12 years of research and development. Built with a patented, high-heat-resistant, optically and mechanically superior material, Kolon’s technology offers the potential to revolutionize flexible displays, organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), consumer devices, and other transparent flexible electronics.

Kolon’s revolutionary material – available both in film form and as a varnish for coatable materials – has the technical performance to truly transform the industry. It offers optical transparency of 90 percent, over 6 GPa modulus, 2H surface hardness, superior folding properties, and roll-to-roll processing capabilities. It also has a smooth surface finish that is tunable with various functional treatments.

All of these features make Kolon CPI ideal for the next generation of portable, flexible devices, as well as industrial applications and emerging markets. Now boasting the world’s first mass-production facility optimized for the manufacture of CPI, Kolon is primed to extend its innovation to a broad market that also includes organic photovoltaics (OPVs), flexible printed circuit boards (FPCBs), and specialized applications that may benefit from flexible display technology.

Synaptics’ Optical In-Display Fingerprint Sensor

Synaptics, Inc., a leading developer of human interface solutions, recently announced mass production and retail availability of its new Clear ID FS9500 family of optical in-display fingerprint sensors. Smartphone maker Vivo is now using this technology in two shipping smartphones, the X20 Plus UD, and the X21 UD.

Designed to enable smartphones with bezel-free OLED infinity displays, Synaptics’ Clear ID in-display fingerprint sensors are placed in a natural location directly in the touchscreen, eliminating the need for buttons and bezels. A fingerprint icon in the display guides the user and disappears upon authentication. In combination with Synaptics’ SentryPoint technology, Clear ID is highly secure and faster than alternative biometrics such as 3D facial recognition. It is also very convenient, with one-touch/one-step biometric authentication directly in the touchscreen display area of smartphones.

Synaptics’ Clear ID optical fingerprint sensor is laminated below the OLED display and works with both flexible and rigid OLEDs. The OLED display illuminates the finger. Clear ID captures the reflected fingerprint between the OLED pixels via its complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) sensor, and advanced signal-processing technology provides for fast and accurate matching. Clear ID leverages standard optical production materials and processes. It supports up to 1.7-mm thickness and the addition of screen protectors. It also works in sunlight and bright conditions.

The Clear ID FS9500 optical solution excels with wet, dry, and cold fingers, and since it’s protected by glass, is durable, scratchproof, and waterproof. In-display fingerprint technology allows users to conveniently and securely unlock the device at any angle, whether it’s sitting on a table or in a car mount.

Synaptics’ optical fingerprint sensors and SentryPoint technology provide a wide range of unique and highly secure authentication features, including adaptive fingerprint template matching and authentication; anti-spoof technology; and support for transport layer security protocol (TPS) with elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) authentication and AES (advanced encryption standard) encryption.



The Display Components of the Year are Continental Automotive GmbH’s 3D Touch Surface (left), Kolon Industries’ colorless polyimide (center), and Synaptics’ optical in-display fingerprint sensor.

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 iPhone X

Since the birth of the original iPhone, Apple’s vision has been of a product that is entirely screen, without decorative elements, physical keyboards, or dedicated function buttons. However, until now there has always been one button on the face of an iPhone. With iPhone X, that button has been eliminated and the display has become the primary element for all interactions, allowing the display to flow to fill the face of the iPhone.

This design was achieved by the utilization of advanced technologies, including panel-edge folding for border symmetry, circuit-stacking technology for corner border minimization, and subpixel anti-aliasing for enhanced display spline appearance.

The beautiful 458-ppi 5.8-in. Super Retina display is the first OLED panel that rises to the standards of iPhone, with stunning colors, true blacks, a million-to-one contrast ratio, and wide color support with the best system-wide color management in a smartphone. The HDR display supports Dolby Vision and HDR10, which together make photo and video content look even more amazing. The addition of True Tone dynamically adjusts the white balance of the display to match the surrounding light for a more natural, paper-like viewing experience. The iPhone has revolutionized the last decade of phones; iPhone X will set the stage for the next decade, with the display in the starring role.

LG Display’s UHD Crystal Sound OLED

Crystal Sound OLED (CSO) is one of the latest in a line of OLED advancements made by LG Display. The company launched a ground-breaking 55-in. FHD OLED TV in 2013 and completed a full line-up of 55-/65-/75-in UHD OLED TVs in 2015. Since then, UHD and 8K pixels have been incorporated for high image quality. And the company has continued to develop and apply various image-quality improvement algorithms such as high dynamic range (HDR) to lead the market.

LG Display introduced its extremely thin “Wallpaper” OLED TV panels in 2016 and 2017, a design differentiation that leveraged the structural merits of OLED. Around this time, the company also developed an OLED panel integrated speaker, Crystal Sound OLED, as a convergence product, launching it in 2017.

Crystal Sound OLED technology operates on the key principle of vibrating the panel with the exciter attached to the back of the panel and separating one panel into the stereo sound. This technology is possible because OLED panels do not require a backlight unit. In regular TV, a speaker is placed on the back of the panel to project the sound around the outside of the set, so the sound characteristics are uneven and the sound is easily affected by the environment. On the other hand, TVs with Crystal Sound technology (the vibrations generated by the exciter transmit their sound directly to the audience through the OLED panel) reproduce crisp, clear, and balanced sound from low to high frequency.

In normal TVs, the imagery and sound emerge from different places, but the Crystal Sound technology enables sounds to emit from exactly the same place as the video. In other words, the position of the person’s face and the position of the sound are exactly matched, so that the sound is natural and maximizes the realistic feeling, thereby increasing the immersion of the viewer.

LG Display expects this technology to expand into a variety of areas, such as smartphones, monitors, automobiles, and OLED lighting.  •



The Display Applications of the Year are Apple’s iPhone X (left) and LG Display’s UHD Crystal Sound OLED (right).

Jenny Donelan is the editor in chief of Information Display magazine. She can be reached at jdonelan@pcm411.com.