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ST's new column drivers target Asia's LCD OEMs

Posted: 20 Mar 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LCD TV? APDC? PPDS? ST? LCD driver?

Column driver for large-size LCD TV from ST

STMicroelectronics has announced the development of its first column-driver ICs for the large-size LCD TV market. Developed in the company's Asia-Pacific Design Center (APDC) in Singapore, the STD8420C and STD8420A are the first chips in ST's new LCD driver family, now being sampled to key customers in Asia.

PPDS display tech
The new devices use Point-to-Point Differential Signaling (PPDS) display technology licensed from National Semiconductor to simplify the LCD intra-panel interconnect and reduce the total number of column-driver signals required, enabling a physically smaller bezel around the TV screen while providing cinema-quality display performance.

The STD8420x is being produced in a leading-edge process technology developed by ST specifically for this application. Other products in the new family will also be designed at ST's APDC. Key features of the STD8420C include: 414/420 outputs, PPDS interface-compatible, support for independent digital gamma control of each RGB color, support for Dot and N-line inversion drive schemes, operation over a wide output voltage range, and 1024 gray levels per output built from internal 12bit linear DACs. The STD8420A incorporates all the features of STD8420C with the exception of output gray levels, which are limited to 256 steps.

ST is setting up a complete business unit in Singapore for LCD drivers to establish a fully integrated presence at the center of major LCD-panel production. This unit provides a total value chain including design, product engineering, field application support and marketing services, assisting manufacturers in meeting their customers' expectations for performance, TV set appearance and economy. Additionally, the chip design resources of APDC have increased four-fold in the last five years, enabling the design of this cost-effective LCD column driver close to major flat-panel TV manufacturers to minimize time-to-market.

Important milestone
"These first large-size LCD source-driver ICs are clearly an important milestone in the company's strategy to become a major player in the mainstream high-end LCD TV market," said Philippe Berger, general manager of ST's display division. "The company plans to offer extremely competitive driver products based around the PPDS display architecture and implemented in our leading-edge process technology developed especially for the application, together with dedicated design and display driver support resources located close to the key fast-growing markets in Asia."

Engineering samples of the STD8420C and STD8420A are shipping to key customers. Pricing for the new ICs is in the range of $3 to $4.

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