TDK UEL476: Transparent Passive Matrix OLED Display

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TDK:

TDK Corporation has started mass production of a newly developed see-through passive matrix type QVGA organic EL display (product name: UEL476) from this Spring, a world’s first.

Passive. I haven’t heard much about passive matrix anything these days but maybe the technology has improved so flicker is no longer an issue when quickly updating content on the display.

The newly developed see-through type is mainly intended for use as the main display panel in mobile phones and other mobile devices.

I can see the benefits of a transparent display. For instance the act of overlaying augmented reality-based information right on top of what you’re looking at from the transparent display would be very cool. Another benefit: a direct touch-based viewfinder for photography.

The see-through type organic EL display for mobile applications has a field angle of 2.4 inches, transmittance of 40 percent, and brightness of 150 cd/m2.

Field angle? I’m not certain what that is but the size of 2.4 inches seems to indicate the diagonal display size, which is good enough for most feature phones and clamshell-type smartphones.

The use of the color filter principle means that the service life of the each Red, Green and Blue color of RGB elements is identical, and color shift is absent.

My guess is that white OLEDs are being used in conjunction with a RGB filter. Naturally, differential aging where the blue dies off more quickly than the other two (red, green) won’t be an issue. Excellent viewing angles are expected from an OLED-based display.

Intel: Ultrabooks

Engadget:

The Intel exec declared that new class of PC, dubbed “Ultrabooks,” will make up 40-percent of the market by the end of 2012. These machines, powered by the 22nm Ivy Bridge, will be less than 0.8-inches thick and start at under $1,000 — which sounds just like the lines we were fed about CULV chips back in 2009.

So let me get this straight. Are ultrabooks positioned between netbooks and ultraportable notebooks? So ultraBooks will compete against higher-end tablets, like the 32GB or 64GB iPads in both WiFi-only or 3G flavors? The lowest-end 11.6-inch MacBook starts at $999, and it’s a full-blown notebook.

I don’t think Intel’s ultrabook, as a new category of portable computers, will be successful. To me, it looks like ultrabooks will just turn out to be expensive netbooks, a category that has been squeezed by smartphones and tablets. On the other hand, I could see Chromeultrabooks: ultrabooks running Google’s Chrome OS.

Wouldn’t that be interesting. Microsoft ditches Intel exclusivity for its next Windows release while Google courts Intel to topple the Windows hegemony with Chrome OS and Chromebooks.

WWDC 2011: OS X Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud

Apple:

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and a team of Apple executives will kick off the company’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) with a keynote address on Monday, June 6 at 10:00 a.m. At the keynote, Apple will unveil its next generation software – Lion, the eighth major release of Mac OS X; iOS 5, the next version of Apple’s advanced mobile operating system which powers the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch; and iCloud, Apple’s upcoming cloud services offering.

OS X Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud. I know iOS 5 will be a free upgrade for iPhone users. OS X Lion will be a fairly affordable upgrade through the App Store. iCloud, now this is a mystery. What kind of services will it bring?

Will iCloud just be an online locker for videos, podcasts, music, ebooks, apps, etc.? Will it compete with Google and offer free email, calendar, a RSS reader, a blogging service, online phone number (voicemail, texting, transcription), iWork online, etc. and sync them all with your OS X Lion-equipped Mac and iOS 5-updated iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad? I hope Apple offers all of this and even more, including a live-stream of the keynote.

I’m getting pretty excited.

The App Internet: Google’s Chromebook Can’t Compete with iPhone or iPad

Cult of Mac:

Colony says something like the Chromebook just can’t compete with devices like the iPhone or iPad that can access the App Internet… despite the fact that Google’s Android arm is already sinuously curled around the app.

Google’s Chromebook is just the most obvious and current example of Apple competitors who don’t get it. PC Vendors either need to embrace the App Internet, as Apple has done with its iOS and Mac App Stores, or perish.

That’s Forrester CEO George Colony. I’m not so sure that Google doesn’t get it. Look at the latest, and greatest I might add, app that has hit the desktop: Angry Birds, the app, installable on Google’s Chrome browser.

I am certain Google understands the power of apps. If you look at the app store for the Chrome browser you can see there are many and most act like apps, like the ones you see on Android and iOS, and not web apps.

With Chromebooks, Google is bringing an app-based ecosystem the likes of Android and iOS to the desktop. In some way Google is ahead of Apple’s own app game by taking the first step embracing, engulfing, and app-lifying the desktop.

Cell Phone Possibly Causes Cancer

WHO via CNN:

Radiation from cell phones can possibly cause cancer, according to the World Health Organization. The agency now lists mobile phone use in the same “carcinogenic hazard” category as lead, engine exhaust and chloroform.

Dr. Keith Black, chairman of neurology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles:

So in addition to leading to a development of cancer and tumors, there could be a whole host of other effects like cognitive memory function, since the memory temporal lobes are where we hold our cell phones.

Cell phone radiation could have a larger impact on children. Dr. Black:

Children’s skulls and scalps are thinner. So the radiation can penetrate deeper into the brain of children and young adults. Their cells are at a dividing faster rate, so the impact of radiation can be much larger.

And here’s what Apple thinks about its iPhone 4, as found on the user manual:

When using iPhone near your body for voice calls or for wireless data transmission over a cellular network, keep iPhone at least 15 millimeters (5/8 inch) away from the body.

Of course, there will be others who disagree with the WHO’s assessment of whether or not cell phones cause cancer. Here is University of Maryland physics professor Bob Park via Daring Fireball:

All cancers are caused by mutant strands of DNA. Electromagnetic radiation can’t create mutant strands of DNA unless the frequency is at or higher than the blue limit of the visible spectrum the near-ultraviolet. The frequency of cell phone radiation is about 1 million times too low.

I’m no scientist and I don’t hold a PhD in anything, but my question to Dr. Park is: maybe electromagnetic radiation cannot create mutant strands of DNA, but can it somehow aid in the creation?

I think it’s safe to say that we need to be cautious about using mobile phones, including smartphones like the iPhone 4. I’m a parent of three and I’d rather be on the safe side and be careful not to expose them to cellular radiation.

Samsung Mobile Display A2 Line: Gen 5.5 AMOLED Fab Online

Samsung: On May 31, Samsung Mobile Display celebrated the commencement of operations at its Gen 5.5 AMOLED fabrication plant, the world’s largest. SMD started construction of the Gen 5.5 line in June 2010. The Gen 5.5 AMOLED fab processes glass substrates with dimensions of 1300×1500 mm, which is much bigger than the 730×920-mm glass substrates used in its Gen 4.5.

SMD decided to integrate a large portion of display manufacturing equipment from local suppliers. The excimer laser annealing (ELA), heat treatment, cleaning equipment are 100% sourced from South Korean companies. In addition SMD will be hiring 3000 additional workers this year and another 3000 in 2012.

SMD is planning to manufacture AMOLED displays for smartphones, tablets, and mobile gaming. I don’t think it too farfetched to expect a Samsung Galaxy Tab with something like a Super AMOLED Plus display in the near future, like the Galaxy Tab 4G.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 4G (LTE) In The Works

CrunchGear:

In an interview with Dow Jones Newswires, Shin spilled that the company plans to release a 4G LTE-capable version of the Galaxy Tab later this year.

That would be J.K. Shin, the top guy running Samsung mobile. Why would you jeopardize sales of the Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1 by pre-announcing a better product that will be available in just a few months? If you are patient, in less then six months and more likely closer to five, you’ll be able to get your hands on a Samsung Galaxy Tab that connects to 4G. This bit of information is critical since purchasing a Galaxy Tab often means you’ll be tethered to a very long two-year contract.

I prefer how Apple’s doing it: iPads with no contract. This way you can always get the newest and greatest iPad without having to pay early termination fees or paying outrageously expensive prices. You can also reduce the hit on your wallet by selling your older iPad on eBay or Craigslist.

HTC Sensation Review

Vlad Savov at Engadget:

In our review of the Galaxy S II, we opined that though its display was of superlative quality, its pixel density left a little something to be desired. The Sensation gives us that extra flourish with a 960 x 540 resolution (35 percent more pixels than on Samsung’s 800 x 480 panel) on a Super LCD screen that fails to match the vivid output or viewing angles of its Super AMOLED Plus competitor, but at least maintains a similarly hyperbolic naming scheme. There are two significant advantages to moving up to qHD resolution. The first and most tangible is that you get more of everything: Gmail displays more missives, the browser fits more of your favorite blog’s content at a time, the calendar includes more agenda items, and you get to see more of your contacts without having to scroll (11 on the Sensation versus 9 on the WVGA Incredible S screen). Additionally, though the user interface sticks to the standard 16 grid slots for your icons and widgets, having them all in higher resolution lends an extra layer of visual polish, if nothing else. The camera and gallery apps benefit from having more dots to display your compositions and resulting images.

There are two exclusive things you can do with more pixels on a smartphone. One is to make it so that users “get more of everything,” which means everything becomes smaller. The other thing you can do with more pixels is to make everything more clear. Apple went the second route by giving you four times the clarity. In the case of all Android smartphones that have been introduced or announced to date more pixels on the same sized display only means more of everything and everything becomes smaller. I prefer clarity.

In terms of the Sensation’s output quality, it merits noting that in spite of its 4.3-inch display bearing the same branding as the 4- and 3.7-inch ones on the Incredible S and Desire S, it is not up to the same standard. Viewing angles are the first giveaway, as they’re nowhere near as expansive on the Sensation. At 45 degrees away from center, the Sensation’s picture washes out, whereas the Incredible S maintains color fidelity until laid almost flat. Additionally, the smaller handset is brighter and better saturated than its newcomer buddy. None of this is to say that HTC has installed a poor LCD on the Sensation, we’d just refrain from calling it a Super one. As to our running tally against the Galaxy S II, the Sensation wins out on resolution, but loses by a big margin when it comes to quality and the sheer feeling of luxury that the GSII provides.

Super LCD with not so super viewing angles. What would you call that? Super LCD Minus? Almost the entirety of a modern smartphone experience is dependent on the display: clarity, color, touch responsiveness, brightness, viewing angles, etc. I continue to be surprised at companies like HTC that put a name like Sensation on one of its smartphones and yet the experience is nothing but sensational precisely because the display fails to meet expectations. When you read reviewers describe the Super AMOLED Plus display with phrases like “sheer feeling of luxury” Samsung did right with its Galaxy S II.