Samsung SGH-F300: Beyonce’s B Phone

Samsung B Phone

LCD Size: 2.1″
LCD Pixel Format: 176 x 220
Baseband Voice: GSM
Baseband Data: GPRS, EDGE
Camera: 2mp
Wireless: Bluetooth 2.0
Wired: USB 2.0
Memory: microSD expansion slot up to 2GB
Features: FM Radio
Measures 4.1 by 1.7 by 0.37 inches
Price: $400
Availability: March 2007 in the US

Samsung reportedly slightly modified the SGH-F300 mobile phone to be more “Beyoncé Like”. I am not sure exactly what was done to the phone to make it more like Beyonce, but if you’re interested in pictures of Beyonce and the B Phone together for a better comparison, hop on over to Akihabara News. Of the many characteristics of Beyonce that make her so popular is her pretty face and well-endowed body (and of course her music-related talents). However, there aren’t any curves to the B Phone, at all. Maybe it’s more in the UI or the included music?

Source: Akihabara News, InfoSync, anythingbutipod

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Asus Luxury Slim Series LS201

Asus LS201

Size: 20″ 4:3
Pixel Format: 1400 x 1050
Colors: 16.7 million
Contrast Ratio: 2000:1 with Asus Smart Contrast (ASRC) Technology
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Viewing Angle: 170/160
Response Time: 5ms
Input: DVI-D, 15-pin D-Sub (VGA)
Physical Dimension (WxHxD): 458x439x260mm

This one is interesting. The LS201 is not a wide LCD monitor. Instead, it is a regular 4:3. The pixel format of 1400 x 1050 gets you slightly more screen real estate compared to 17″ and 19″ LCD monitors that almost always have 1280 x 1024 pixel formats. ASUS is touting its ASUS Smart Contrast (ASRC) Technology that improves contrast ratio to 2000:1. The LCD is protected with a glass rated at 9H hardness that will prevent most (if not all) scratches. There is also a anti-reflection coating to reduce light reflection to under 2%. Finally, the title says that this is the Luxury Slim Series. The depth has been checked in two places (Asus website, Asus mini-site for its Luxury Slim Series under “specifications”) with a depth of 260mm or about 10.2″. That is pretty thick! Even Dell’s UltraSharp 2007FP 20″ with 1600 x 1200 pixel format has a depth of only 7.6″. Now, if it was a typo and the actual depth of the LS201 was just 26mm or just over 1″, that would be considered slim.

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Samsung 245T: 24″ LCD Monitor

Samsung 245T

Size: 24″ Wide
Pixel Format: 1920 x 1200
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio: 1000:1
Response Time: 6ms
Inputs: HDMI+HDCP, S-Video, 4-port USB Hub
Features: PiP (Picture in Picture), PbP (Picture by Picture, MPA (Motion Picture Acceleration), Pivot
Price: W1.02M, ~€787, US$1113

More pictures at Akihabara.

So, is Samsung’s new 245T a monitor or a TV? I ask because it is slightly confusing. You see, the 245T has a HDMI connection. There are other LCD monitors that have HDMI connections and this question applies to those too. Where is the line between monitor and TV? Well, the 245T does not have a TV tuner. Maybe that’s the answer. Although, with the advent of cable, satellite TV, IPTV, Apple TV, etc. there really isn’t much reason why a TV must have a tuner built-in, unless you like watching TV for free, like I do. But, at the least, Samsung’s 245T blurs the line between monitor and TV. I can see myself using the 245T has a 1080p personal TV attached to a 1080p HD-source like a PlayStation 3. Other specifications underwhelm, especially the 6ms response time. I hope the Motion Picture Acceleration (maybe 120Hz?) compensates for the slow response time, I’m sure it will. It can be a bit brighter since Samsung is thinking that users might use it as a TV. The price is quite high at over $1000. And I think that puts the 245T in the category of no-deal. Samsung’s own 244T (a close sibling to the 245T) is just $680 at Dell.

Source: My Digital Life, Akihabara

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ASUS VW198S: 19″ Wide LCD Monitor with 1680 x 1050 Pixel Format

Asustek VW198S

Size: 19″ Wide
Pixel Format: 1680 x 1050
Brightness: 300 cd/m2
Contrast Ratio: 3000:1
Viewing Angle: 170/160
Colors: 16.7M
Response Time: 5ms
Input: VGA (D-Sub)
Pricing: NT$7,290 (~US$224)


Asustek Computer recently launched three new LCD monitors in Taiwan according to DigiTimes. The three LCD monitors include one 19″ and two 22″ LCD monitors, all three sporting wide aspect ratios. According to Asustek, the 19″ wide VW198S is the world’s first with a pixel format of 1680 x 1050. Typically, a 19″ wide LCD monitor would be limited to a pixel format of just 1440 x 900. With a typical non-wide, 5:4 aspec ratio, 19″ LCD monitor sporting a 1280 x 1024 pixel format.

If you’ve been looking for some extra display real estate (in terms of pixels, not size), Asus’ VW198S might just be the ticket. Just one caveat: for those of you with less than perfect eyes, the fonts on Windows and OS X will be smaller compared to a 19″ wide with 1440 x 900 or 1280 x 1024. If you are OK with that, then the added bonus of just $224 will certainly help in making the decision. There has been no mention of the VW198S and the other 22″ LCD monitors becoming available in the US.

The other two monitors are both 22″ wide (VW222S $304, VW222U $347) with the same pixel format of 1680 x 1050. Brightness, contrast ratio, viewing angle, and colors are all the same as the 19″. The only difference are faster response time (19″ 5ms vs. 22″ 2ms) and that the VW222U sports a DVI-HDCP in addition to a VGA port, which tack on an extra $43.

Source: DigiTimes

[tags]1680 x 1050, 19″, 2.2″, Asustek Computer, LCD Monitor, Taiwan, Wide Monitor, ASUS[/tags]

Innolux to Manufacture more Vizio TVs

According to DigiTimes, Innolux Display is currently in talks with Amtran Technology to increase LCD TV production for Vizio. Amtran’s spokesperson Scottie Chiu should know as the company is the second largest shareholder of Vizio. Innolux has manufactured 26″ LCD TVs for Vizio and will most likely include other sizes in the future.

There was some interesting bits in DigiTime’s piece as the report, according to Amtran’s Chiu, reported that Amtran and Innolux will be securing more orders from LCD manufacturers due to a shortage of LCD TV panels. In other words, Amtran and Innolux might be ready to book more LCD TV panels than they need. Why would they do this? To secure a steady stream of LCD TV panels for their OEM business to Vizio and others. Another reason is to put a cap on prices if forecasted to be increasing. This type of business activity is called double-booking and can impact the LCD panel market is a variety of ways.

First off, double-booking can exacerbate a shortage situation by inflating the demand for panels. Second, by inflating demand with supply held fairly constant, the prices increase significantly. This in turn can impacts manufacturing and the final set prices at retail, potentially leading to a downturn in end consumer demand. A downturn in end consumer demand can cause some havoc for all companies in the LCD supply chain.

Source: DigiTimes

[tags]26″, Amtran Technology, Double Booking, Innolux Display, LCD TV, Vizio[/tags]

Shinoda Plasma: 43″ PDP, 1mm Thick

Shinoda Plasma Corp. is a a venture company established by Tsutae (tsu-ta-e) Shinoda. Shinoda-san is a former Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. fellow and is known as the inventor of PDP. Shinoda Plasma enveiled a prototype PDP with a 100 x 50cm display, which is about 43″ diagonal with a pixel pitch of just 3mm. Shinoda-san explained that the panel was brought directly from the laboratory. Film-form electrodes sandwich plasma tubes, which is a glass tube with a 1mm diameter. Discharge gas and RGB fluorescent materials are inside the plasma tube and the plasma tube is lined sideways. There are three remarkable features of the prototype 43″ PDP: a thickness of just 1mm, the weight is just 800g and it is flexible. In addition, Shinoda-san stated that these displays can be seamlessly combined to form 1 x 2m and 2 x 3m displays aimed at applications that have not been served yet due to display limitations such as thickness, weight and rigidity. He mentioned “making an entire tunnel wall into a display or bonding a display to a ceiling…”

So this is the technology that will allow the dream of having a display wall come true! Most technology prototypes have a inherent limit and that is cost but Shinoda claimed that the manufacturing process of this special PDP does not require the clean rooms for current displays nor the mammoth sized plants required to manufacture large LCDs and PDPs. Shinoba Plasma has a plant located in Kobe and will be “creating large items at small factories.”

Source: TechOn

Update 2007.10.29 Shinoda Plasma Corp. announced that it will begin volume production of its Plasma Tube Array (PTA) display in the second half of 2008. The company will initially provide a 3 x 2 meter (3.6 meter diagonal, 1″ = 2.54 cm, 141.95″) module to display set manufacturers. The module is expected to be priced at “several tens of million yen,” said Tsutae Shinoda, president of the company and legendary father of the plasma display panel itself. Assuming a base price of Â¥10,000,000, that would be equivalent to about $87,000, at least. Expensive! The announcement was made at a press conference that took place in Shinoda Plasma’s headquarters in Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture in Japan Oct 26, 2007. The company will start installing mass production facilities at its plant (site area: 4,000 m2, floor area: 1,500 m2) located in the same area as its Kobe headquarters in fiscal 2007, which I think means calendary 2008. The maximum annual output of the plant is expected to be 200 units of its 3 x 2 meter module. Due to what I have read prior, the financial investment necessary for this type of volume manufacturing capability is substantially less than comparable LCD or PDP plants. Shinoda stated that CAPEX is “an order of magnitude lower than what would be invested in an LCD or PDP panel plant with the equivalent production scale.” So why the high price? The company expects the shipment of about 10 units in fiscal 2008 and about 100 units in fiscal 2009. “First of all, we are aiming at sales of Â¥10 billion (US$87 million) in the initial phase,” Shinoda said. The 3 x 2 meter module weighs 60kg, with a power consumption of 1,200 W when operated at a luminance of 1,000 cd/m2. It has a pixel pitch of 3mm and supports the 720p HDTV resolution. The full On/Off contrast ratio is 10,000:1. The module is composed of a “sub module,” which is obtained by incorporating a data driver IC in a film-type display unit, combined with a drive circuit and other components. The 1 × 1m sub module and the drive circuit are provided separately in the actual shipment in consideration for the convenience of transportation to the installation site, where the module can be assembled by attaching six pieces of 1 × 1m sub modules and combining them with the drive circuit. Each sub module weighs less than 7 kg. The PTA technology was developed by Shinoda when he was working as a fellow at Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd. It has a structure in which an array of “plasma tubes” is sandwiched by upper and lower film electrodes. The plasma tube is a 1mm diameter glass tube containing a discharge gas and fluorescent materials for R, G and B colors, etc. The module has a pixel pitch of 3mm because of the layout composed of plasma tubes for R, G and B colors arranged laterally. While the principle of light emission is similar to that of PDP, it features a lighter weight thanks to the adoption of a film substrate.

Photonic Crystal Reflective Display: Entire Visible Spectrum

Researchers in Canada and the UK has developed a flat panel display (FPD) that is based on photonic crystals that can reflect colors across the entire visible spectrum controlled by electricity. Since it is a reflective display there is no additional power consumption from a backlight, unlike transmissive or transflective displays. Colors can be tuned from 425nm to 900nm in wavelengths with very small voltages less than 2V. A large portion of the cost of manufacturing LCDs is composed of the backlight and color filters. Because this single material can generate the entire visible spectrum of colors, there is no need for a color filter. No backlight and no color filter may mean a very simplified process in manufacturing and that can very low cost. The researchers have been able to test samples up to 1 cm2 but stated that there does not seem to be a size limit for this technology.

The material is a nanocomposite, similar to the structure of natural gemstone opal, with electroactive polymers embedded for electrical voltage responsiveness. The voltage cause a structural change in the nanocomposite that cause the electroactive polymer to expand, pushing the spheres in the material apart, and generating a different reflected color. The greater the separation the greater the wavelength. The color spectrum is not limited to visible light but can expand to UV and IR ranges according to the researchers. Amazing technology!


[tags]Electroactive Polymer, Flat Panel Display, Nanocomposite, Opal, Photonic Crystal, Reflective Display[/tags]

Sharp Scanning LCD

Sharp Scanning LCD

Size: 3.5″
Pixel Format: 320 x 480
Special Feature: Light sensor embedded in pixel

More pictures (bigger images) at Engadget

Engadget is reporting that Sharp is showcasing a LCD that scans. The screen size and pixel format is the same as the one that is in Apple’s iPhone. The reason I mention that is because I can easily imagine the size of the device for this creative technology and… If my iPhone had a scanning function for business cards, that would be quite nice. Just imagine if I could scan a business card and “boom!” the contact information is stored on the iPhone’s contact list (and picture if you can manage to take a picture without embarrassing the other person). That would be cool.

Now how did Sharp do this? The concept is simple but probably very difficult to manufacture: a light sensor is built into each pixel that can scan what is on the surface of the display. In effect, it can be thought of as a 3.5″ image sensor but without the density of those you typically see in a normal digital camera. Another major difference is that one is based on thin-film transistors and the other is a semiconductor chip. Since light can be detected, the absence of light due to a finger can also be detected giving this LCD touch sensing features as well. If Sharp can increase the number of pixels to about 1280 x 720, we’re talking about a HD-capable digital camera/scanner and a HD TV all in a device the size of an iPhone. Of course, I’m dreaming here.

[tags]3.5″, 320 x 480, Scan, Sharp, Touch[/tags]

Sony Taiwan: 1080p LCD TV Introductions

On 2007.09.29, Sony Taiwan introduced two 1080p LCD TVs series: X and W with three different sizes for each series: 40″, 46″ and 52″ that will be available in October. The 52″ (KDL-52X3500) will cost NT$219,000 (US$6719) and the 40″ (KDL-40W3100) will be NT$74,900 (US$2297). Sony expects total demand for LCD TVs in Taiwan to reach 700,000 units in 2007.

Sharp‘s 42″ Full HD LCD TV is priced at NT$109,000, significantly higher than Sony’s KDL-40W3100, by NT$34,100, even compensating for the extra 2″ in size.  Competitors have announced that they will not enter into a price war in the short term with Sony. This will most likely lead to Sony capturing a significant amount of market share. Not only does Sony have a strong brand presence worldwide, when Sony’s TVs can be had for substantially less, the decision would be quite simple, in my opinion.

Source: DigiTimes

[tags]1080p, 1920 x 1080, 4.0″, 46″, 52″, Full HD, Sony, Taiwan[/tags]

Applied Vacuum Coating Technologies: Restructuring

DigiTimes reported that on 2007.10.1, Taiwan-based Applied Vacuum Coating Technologies (AVCT), an indium tin oxide (ITO) glass supplier, announced a shareholders meeting on December 5 to discuss capital reduction and fund raising.

According to Wikipedia, ITO is “a mixture of indium (III) oxide (In2O3) and tin (IV) oxide (SnO2), typically 90% In2O3, 10% SnO2 by weight. It is transparent and colorless in thin layers. Indium tin oxide’s main feature is the combination of electrical conductivity and optical transparency.” An ITO film is used to coat glass to lay circuits via photolithography for applications such as LCDs.

AVCT will reduced its capital by 64% to NT$764 million (US$23.5 million) to cover the company’s previous losses and improve its financial structure while planing to issue private placements up to 10 million shares to support capacity expansion and company operations. AVCT currently has six production lines with a utilization rate of around 90% and plans to increase monthly capacity in excess of 880,000 units in 2008, when the company hopes to turn profitable.

Source: DigiTimes

[tags]Applied Vacuum Coating Technologies, Indium Tin Oxide, ITO[/tags]