Global OLED Revenues US$192 Million in Second Quarter 2009

Sony_CES2007_OLED_TVs

DigiTimes: Global OLED revenues were US$192 million in the second quarter of 2009 according to DisplaySearch. The record-setting US$192 million in revenues represent a 32% Q/Q and 22% Y/Y growth. Mobile phone main displays will continue to be the leading application for OLED with about $3 billion in 2016 and OLED TV, surprisingly, will be the second largest application with about $2 billion.

About 15 mobile phones that make use of OLED technology in the main display were released in 2009. Samsung, Nokia and Sony Ericsson were the leading companies to incorporate OLED technology into their mobile phones. All of these mobile phones made use of Active Matrix OLED (AMOLED) displays.

Samsung Mobile Display (SMD) was the top OLED supplier with a 38% unit shipment market share, followed by RiTdisplay. With just a couple more months left in 2009, we are expecting LG Electronics to incorporate a 15-inch AMOLED into a commercial OLED TV, making it the largest and besting Sony’s XEL-1 OLED TV by 4 inches. The 15-inch AMOLED is manufactured by LG Display. Sony did announce a much larger 20-inch OLED TV back in 2008 but will not be commercialized until 2010 at the earliest. In mid-2010, high-end notebook PCs will begin making use of AMOLED displays.

HP Radiance Display

The HP Radiance Display. The Envy 13 comes with it. And the Envy 13 is the only one with it. Here are the stats: 13.1-inch TFT LCD, LED backlight, 1600×900 resolution, brightness of 410 cd/m2, 82% color gamut, 8ms response time. Some call it the best notebook display:

  • “This display uses new technology that HP couldn’t share, and it is simply the most vivid, bright display I have ever seen on any notebook. HP insisted it is twice as bright as normal laptop displays, and I think that is accurate. I actually believed it was a photograph that had been slyly super-imposed on the screen, until I got to play with it to very it was really that vivid. There is no way to adequately describe this screen, it must be seen to fully appreciate what HP has done. The screen along makes me want one of these badly.” – jkOnTheRun
  • “The HP Radiance display is twice as bright as other notebook displays in its class – 410 nit (a measurement of display brightness) – and provides an exceptional movie and photo experience, even in high ambient light conditions. With 82 percent color gamut (versus standard 45-60 percent), photos appear richer with amazing color depth. Additionally, with fast 8-millisecond response time, customers can view movies with TV-like performance.” – HP
  • “… the Envy 13 has the best display I have ever seen on a notebook and is the only notebook with the HP Radiance Display which delivers vivid color quality. If you have seen an HP DreamColor monitor you will think the Envy 13 has a DreamColor monitor that is how good the Radiance Display is.” – HardwareGeeks
  • “Dubbed the HP Radiance, the 410 nit display has an 82 percent color gamut (versus standard 45-60 percent). Not only are viewing angles good, but colors just pop and are incredibly bright. Compared to the 15-Inch MacBook Pro, the Envy looked crisper and more vivid, though the MacBook looked more natural. While my eyes didn’t hurt after about six hours of consistent use, I was warned that the increased dots per inch could be hard on the eyes over a longer period of time.” – Gizmodo

I’ll be looking into who the LCD panel manufacturer is and why the technology is limited to 13.1-inch.

Update 2009.10.01 4:37pm PDT: According to John Jacobs, Director of Notebook Market Research at DisplaySearch, a dear friend who knows more about notebook PC displays than anyone I know, the 13.1-inch LCD panel is most likely from Toshiba. The LTPS (Low Temperature Poly-Silicon) LCD is very light at just 162g and makes use of either a RGB or RGBW LED backlight for the much-higher-than-standard 82% color gamut. The LCD panel is light due to the very thin LCD glass being used: 0.2t, 0.25t or 0.3t. This LCD panel is most likely manufactured at Toshiba’s Singapore LCD fab (730×920 mm) that can cut 12 pieces with a glass efficiency of 95% or more; that just means Toshiba doesn’t waste much glass when making this 13.1-inch panel.

Sharp LED AQUOS: LC-40LX1, LC-46LX1, LC-52LX1, LC-60LX1

Sharp_LED_AQUOS

Akihabara News: On September 29, 2009 Sharp unveiled its LED AQUOS line of LCD TVs. The LED AQUOS line consists of four sizes: 40-inch LC-40LX1, 46-inch LC-46LX1, 52-inch LC-52LX1 and 60-inch LC-60LX1. Incorporating the company’s new UV2A TFT LCD manufacturing technology that enhances contrast, improves response times and lowers manufacturing costs, the LED AQUOS LCD TVs feature LED backlight technology and a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1. The combination of a LED backlight an the UV2A technology makes the LED AQUOS line of LCD TVs the industry’s lowest when it comes to power consumption.

Sharp is a bit late to the LED backlight integration into LCD TV game but by combining it with its UV2A TFT LCD manufacturing technology, Sharp may have something more to offer than your run-of-the-mill LCD TV with a LED backlight.

Dell Latitude Z: 16-inch Executive Notebook

Thin & Light The Z is just over 1-inch thick and weighs only 4.5 pounds. It isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison but the thinner (0.95-inch) 15.4-inch MacBook Pro weighs more at 5.5 pounds. The Z has larger dimensions than the MacBook Pro due to the larger “16.0-inch Premium High Definition Plus WLED Display” but the fact that Dell was able get the Z to be so light is quite extraordinary. There is a soft-touch finish in black cherry but I personally like the razor sharp and cold touch of aluminum.

16-inch LCD The LCD sports a 1600 x 900 resolution and a white LED backlight. I’ve always had a problem with this 1600 x 900 resolution for HD viewing. Although the 16:9 aspect ratio is familiar as in HD, the resolution is worthless. 1600 x 900 is not 1280 x 720 as in 720p HD. Nor is it 1920 x 1080 as in 1080p Full HD. Everything HD will need to be both scaled vertically and horizontally to fit the screen. When video content gets scaled, quality deteriorates. 1600 x 900 is simply worthless for HD. Oh, but it is 16:9. Yay.

For Executives Oh really? Do we really want executives to be purchasing really expensive notebook PCs? And ones that have a 16:9 screens so they can watch HD content? In this day and age where executive pay at financial institutions is being determined by the president because they are deemed too excessive, why is Dell trying to sell a really expensive notebook PC with what seems to be an HD focus? You want these overpaid executives to watch HD shows and movies on their Zs?

Matte There is one good thing about this premium ultra super duper high definition A plus LED whatever LCD: it is matte! We’re going back to matte and it is finally time. After the break: No Wires Ma!, Two Brains, Ugly Butt. Continue reading →

Light Peak: Just One Connector

Intel_IDF2009_Light_Peak_Connector

The Intel Developer Forum (IDF) yield some interesting products and technologies. Light Peak being one of them. What is Light Peak? It’s an optical interconnect technology based on fiber optics that has huge bandwidth. Think 10Gbps. You thought USB 3.0 was fast (5Gbps). Yes, USB 3.0 will be coming soon, but Light Peak might be on its tail. Light Peak can maintain a throughput of 10Gbps within 100 meters (about 109 yards)–long enough for almost any application. I would think digital signage folks would be relieved to not have to deal with so many different connections. Some of the benefits of Light Peak touted by Intel:

  • Fewer, Smaller Connectors
  • Longer, Thinner Cables
  • Higher Bandwidth
  • Bi-directional Transfer
  • Quality of Service (QoS)
  • Hot Pluggable
  • Multiple I/O Protocols on Single Cable

Light Peak would replace USB, VGA, HDMI, DisplayPort, DVI, SATA, SAS, Ethernet, FireWire… pretty much all of the cornucopia of interconnect standards that we are using today. I hope Light Peak becomes a standard sooner than later because it would be a wonderful day when we no longer need to waste valuable time and resources deciding which connector(s) to include in a TV, monitor, notebook or smartphone. Here are the choices brands have to make right now just for external display interconnects: VGA, DVI, HDMI and DisplayPort. That’s three too many. With a huge bandwidth of 10Gbps even Ultra Definition (3840×2048 or 3840×2160) at 60fps can be easily handled.

Intel demoed its Light Peak interconnect technology using a Hackintosh driving a large display and a SSD RAID on a single cable (video above). A 2GB file was being transferred while a HD-class video was running at the same time without a glitch.

According to Engadget, an extremely reliable source, said that back in 2007 Apple’s Steve Jobs brought the concept of Light Peak to Intel’s Paul Otellini and asked Intel to develop it. I’m guessing Apple got a bit tired having to design an aluminum unibody (and everything else) with a bunch of connector holes on the side. I can just imagine Steve Jobs throwing down the gauntlet: “Just. One. Connector.” That would be nice to see just a single connector on all of Apple’s products, especially the MacBook and MacBook Pro notebooks. Apple will still require something like an iStick for legacy connections though. The extremely reliable source mentioned an one-size-fits-all solution in the short term with the longer-term to have Light Peak replacing all interconnects. In the fall of 2010 Apple will be unveiling a new standard for its computer systems. A low-power version of Light Peak is expected to follow soon after allowing the optical interconnect technology to complete its world domination by capturing the mobile world.

Source:

  • “Exclusive: Apple dictated Light Peak creation to Intel, could begin migration from other standards as early as 2010” – Engadget
  • “Video: Intel’s Light Peak running an HD display while transferring files… on a hackintosh” – Engadget
  • “Intel unveils Light Peak 10Gbps optical interconnect for mobile devices” – Engadget

Microsoft Courier: User Interface Video

Engadget: There is a new video out that shows you in more detail on how you can use Microsoft’s Courier. The voice in the video refers to an “Infinite Journal”. That’s a cool name, but I’m sure there is a limit, which can be hit it pretty quickly when you’re dealing with video. And interestingly video was not a media asset that was shown in the video. Nonetheless, I think Microsoft has developed a brand new approach to computing–quite innovative!

According to ZDNet’s Mary-Jo Foley, the operating system that Microsoft’s Courier is using is Windows 7. The UI runs on top of Windows 7 just like the cool Surface UI runs on top of Windows. The original idea came from Microsoft’s OneNote but focused for only tablets. You’ll need to wait a while since Microsoft is planning on a mid-2010 release. Another interesting tidbit is that Microsoft is considering building the hardware itself. If Microsoft keeps the Courier UI to itself and builds the hardware itself, the company might be moving toward the Apple model of having tight control to maximize user experience.

Sony Gran Turismo for PSP Coming October 1

Sony_Gran_Turismo_PSP_Wide

I think it was 2002. I sat next to my friend Joe who was playing a driving game and asked him if he wanted to race. I’ve never played this particular racing game so I was a bit nervous since I didn’t want my pride to be squished by a virtual Corvette. “Alright!” After what seemed like a crazy sequence of buttons we were ready to pick our cars. I’ve always had a thing for Nissan’s Skyline GT-R, so I chose that, in automatic. I don’t remember what Joe chose. And it didn’t matter. The awesome visual feedback, the sound of the engine and the tires losing grip… I was sucked in and Joe was kicked off… the podium. Four straight races. Four straight wins. It wasn’t even close. That was Gran Turismo 3 on a PlayStation 2 and I was blown away. On October 1, I can experience something just as good anywhere I want with a PSP. Progress is good. Pre-order Gran Turismo on Amazon for US$38.99 with free shipping.

Source: Sony

Archos Phone Tablet

Archos is getting on the smartphone bandwagon with its Phone Tablet. Here are the specs:

  • Display: 4.3-inch Touch
  • Resolution: 854 x 480
  • CPU: 1GHz ARM Cortex
  • Baseband: 3.5G
  • Dimensions: 10mm thick
  • Casing: Titanium

More & Larger The 854 x 480 resolution is good but I hope the fonts aren’t too small. With more resolution you’ll also need a bit more powerful GPU to make sure every UI bit is running smoothly. The 4.3-inch display is also on the large side–a plus, but just a reminder: the average size of our hands don’t change much. I personally like larger displays and more resolution but the trick is to make it work in your hands and with your eyes. Let’s see if Archos did that with its Phone Tablet… at CES. From the video the Phone Tablet looks very well made and quite sexy. Continue reading →

iFixit Sony PSP Go Teardown

iFixit_Sony_PSP_Go_Teardown_LCD

The folks over at iFixit has completed a teardown of Sony’s PSP Go. Of course, I’m interested in the LCD and related parts–there isn’t a whole lot of information but I’ll see if I can find out more. During the teardown, iFixit had a whoops moment and accidentally separated the backlight unit from the LCD! I wonder if the LCD worked after they put it back together. I would think it should be a bit more difficult to separate the backlight unit from the LCD: whoever was the LCD module assembler should do a tighter job next time. The LCD controller for the video out is Sharp’s 0923 7y LR388G1. I googled it to no avail. Just a few words on the LCD: The 16:9 3.8-inch LCD in the PSP Go is a bit smaller than the 4.3-inch ones in previous PSP models. The resolution is the same at 480 x 272.

Source: iFixit

LED Monitor?

In my mailbag today, I received a question from Joe W. regarding the topic of the “LED Monitor”. Yesterday I wrote a piece titled “BenQ V2400 Eco: 24-inch LCD Monitor with LED Backlight“. In it I expressed my dissatisfaction with BenQ’s use of the term “LED monitor” to describe its V2400 Eco. I also pointed the finger at Samsung for starting an deceptive marketing campaign that confuses the marketplace with the term “LED TV”. Joe W. posed the question:

But Apple call their display an Apple LED Cinema Display – so by this is it not the case that either a) such a thing does exit or b) Samsung are just following the lead of others?

I’ll try to answer Joe’s question as simply as possible. What Apple is doing is fine by me. And that’s not because I am an Apple fan but because Apple is doing something that is materially different from what Samsung, BenQ and others are doing. What Apple is doing is putting a descriptor in front of a discreet product name. The previous large LCD monitor from was called the Apple Cinema Display that used a 23-inch IPS TFT LCD panel with CCFL backlight technology. The term “Cinema Display” is a product name used for Apple’s line of LCD monitors. Apple is not trying to convince the market that its Cinema Display is a different class of monitors separate from LCD monitors. The Apple LED Cinema Display simply adds the word LED to denote that this new LCD monitor uses LED backlight technology; the term LED is not used to signify that this LCD monitor is not a LCD monitor, something completely new. This is not the case with what Samsung is doing with the term “LED TV”.

Samsung_LED_TV_Choice

If you look at Samsung’s TV portion of its website (clipped above), the company’s intentions with the term “LED TV” is clear: it wants to separate it out as a different type of TV compared to LCD TV or plasma TV. Samsung wants you to believe that LED TV is not a LCD TV. The fact of the matter is that the “LED TV” that Samsung is referring to is actually a LCD TV. I cannot stress that enough. I have had several of my friends ask me what I thought about the new LED TVs that are now coming out into the market. They were surprised to hear that these are not a new type of TV but a LCD TV with a different light source. What Samsung is doing has created a lot of confusion among consumers. In my opinion, the company’s practice of using the term “LED TV” is dangerously close to false advertising.

Thanks to the precedent set forth by Samsung, LCD monitors that make use of LED backlight technology is now starting to be called a “LED Monitor”. This term also misleads consumers into thinking that it is a new kind of monitor and different from a LCD monitor. I would expect many of my friends will soon be asking me what my thoughts are regarding the new LED monitors and how they are better than LCD monitors.

PS: Large billboards that you see in cities are in fact made of LEDs and these are called, correctly so, LED displays. LED displays use LEDs as the primary method of displaying text and graphics. The LEDs are not only the light source but the main technology to control brightness and color.