Samsung Holiday in August SF Event

I had the pleasure of attending Samsung’s Holiday in August SF Event. It was held at Terra Studios in SF and even had a Christmas tree with lights and decorations. Quite interesting, but but more interesting were some of the technology and products that were showcased there. I met up with Scott Birnbaum, VP, LCD Business, Americas Region, who showed me three products: Pentile LCDs for mobile phones, an open 40″ 1080p LCD TV panel with LED backlight, and a 16:9 LCD for notebook PC applications.

Samsung Pentile LCD for Mobile Phone Applications

Samsung acquired Clairvoyante a little while ago. Clairvoyante had a unique LCD called PenTile RGBW where instead of a RGB stripe format, the format was RGBW in a 2×2 fashion. The unique format reduced power consumption while maintaining brightness or with the same power consumption improved brightness quite a bit. At the same brightness, power savings can be up to 50% over conventional RGB stripe LCDs. That’s because the additional white pixel allows for increased brightness. Because of the 2×2 structure the number of source drivers can be reduced by 1/3. The Pentile LCD that was displayed at the event was 3.0″ in size and had a visual pixel format of 480 x 640.

Samsung 40

Next up was an opened 40″ 1080p LCD TV panel with a LED backlight. I have never seen an opened LED backlit LCD module before so this was a rare treat. You can see the TFT panel on top with an optical film stack. At the bottom is the backlight unit (BLU) with a bunch of LEDs. The exact number: 24 x 32 for a total of 768. These were white LEDs and allows for such technologies as progressive scanning of the backlight and local dimming.

Samsung 40

There are some power savings too. Since most video content is considerably darker than what we see on a monitor (Office applications, browser, etc.) the LEDs are not at full brightness most of the time. If the LEDs were at full brightness all of the time, I was told there would be no power savings over CCFL-based BLUs. Of course, with Samsung’s Series 9 LCD TVs, local dimming can generate a dynamic contrast ratio of up to 1,000,000:1.

Samsung 40

With the LEDs powered on the entire BLU was extremely bright. The picture from my digital camera compensates for the brightness and the result is the picture you see above (cool picture, don’t you think?) but what actually happened was quite different as the LEDs were giving off a lot of light.

The final product that Scott explained to me was the 16:9 notebook PC panel. Samsung is pushing hard for 16:9 notebook PC panels to become the next standard. Showcased was a 16.0″ LCD with a pixel format of 1366 x 768. The 16:9 space is seems to be congregating toward three standards. Sony’s new Z series sports a 13.1″ LCD with either 1366 x 768 or 1600 x 900 and the new FW series has a 16.4″ 1600 x 900. The three standards are: 1366 x 768, 1600 x 900, 1920 x 1080.

There were many more products showcased during Samsung’s Holiday in August event. If you’re curious as to what they were, drop me a line at

[tags]Samsung, Samsung Pentile, Pentile RGBW, Mobile Phone, 16:9 Notebook PC LCD, 1366 x 768, 40″, 40″ LCD TV, 40″ LCD TV Panel, 40″ LCD TV Panel with LED Backlight, LED Backlight, White LED, 16.0″ Notebook PC Panel, 16.0″ Laptop LCD Panel[/tags]

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