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Optoelectronics/Displays??

Flat-panel design, manufacturing hurdles to get an airing

Posted: 11 Jul 2002 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:flat-panel display? TFT-LCD? OLED?

While most sectors of the electronics industry struggle with recovery, the flat-panel sector actually seems to be flourishing. TFT-LCDs face unprecedented demand, and the upcoming Semicon West show will devote an entire day to the design challenges and manufacturing issues associated with flat-panel displays.

Half of the flat-panel sessions on Friday (July 19) will be devoted to the workhorse liquid-crystal display (LCD), while an afternoon sessions will focus on up and coming organic LEDs.

Program chairman Charles Annis of Photon Dynamics Inc. said LCD demand is driven by the rapid displacement of CRT monitors. Rising prices and tight supply are encouraging heavy investment in new capacity. Recent forecasts predict the TFT-LCD market will expand to over $20 billion in 2002, then grow another 25 percent to more than $25 billion next year.

To support this growth, most leading LCD manufacturers are investing in so-called fifth-generation factories capable of using substrates larger than 1 meter2, causing capital spending to rise from $5.3 billion this year to $8.6 billion in 2003. With both the LCD and capital equipment markets expected to continue to grow at similarly high rates well into the future, few markets offer so much potential for display, equipment and materials manufacturers, according to Annis.

The Semicon West display seminar will examine the challenges of manufacturing TFTs on large glass and the opportunities created by surging FPD demand. A keynote will be delivered by Carl Steudle, vice president of marketing for LG Philips LCD America Inc., who will be followed by speakers from Orbotech, FSA Technologies, Corning, AKT, Photon Dynamics and market research firm DisplaySearch. A roundtable discussion on critical issues facing the LCD industry will follow.

As a chief proponent of OLEDs, the new kid on the flat-panel block, Stewart Hough, vice president of business development at Cambridge Display Technology, leads the afternoon discussion on OLED manufacturing issues. With the now well-known attributes of wide viewing angles, fast response speeds, high contrast, low power consumption, and thin profile, OLEDs are becoming attractive for integration into a wide array of imaging products.

Both passive-matrix and active-matrix displays exhibiting good image quality have been demonstrated with light-emitting polymer and small-organic molecule-based OLED technologies. The OLED seminar will cover the status of organic materials, passive-matrix display design considerations, manufacturing technology issues related to equipment process, electronics, integrated systems and OLED market and technology developments.

Addresses will be presented by executives from Samsung/NEC; RitDisplay; iSupply/Stanford Resources, Kodak and Osram. After an OLED fabrication overview by Ghassan Jabbour of the University of Arizona, other main players in the OLED field will discuss driver technologies and infrastructure issues. These will include representatives from Ulvac, STMicroelectronics, Claire Micronix and Seiko Epson Corp.

Rounding out the afternoon will be a presentation of the OLED Technology Roadmap 2004-2010 by Norman Bardsley, director of road maps and standards at the U.S. Display Consortium.

? Nicolas Mokhoff

EE Times





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