CSE 2009: LED to be The Next Source of Light for Flat Panel Displays

At CES 2009 some TV makers showed off their LED LCD TVs including Samsung, LG, Toshiba and so on. LED will be the next light source for flat panel displays in future. For many reasons such as LED light sources allow for lower power consumption; LED is solid state technology and improves ruggedness; LED allows for improved front-screen performance; LED allows for ultra-thin LCD modules, etc.

Lower power consumption

Power consumption is becoming a very important topic not only for mobile computing but for large LCD TVs as well. In today's economy every bit of savings count. LED backlits for notebook PC applications have been experiencing strong demand especially in the smaller, ultra-portable units. Nearly all LCDs 13.3" and smaller geared for mobile computing feature a LED backlit. It is technically not a 'back'-light as the strip of LEDs are located on the bottom of the LCD module.

Increased ruggedness

Starting a couple of years ago, all automotive manufacturers have recommended that LCDs for navigation incorporate LED backlits. And for good reason: LED is solid state and therefore much more rugged than CCFL. Another reason is that LEDs can be turned on instantly. Ruggedness is important for mobile computing as well and the integration of a LED backlit in favor of one that is based on CCFL will continue.

Improved display performance

In terms of orientation there are three types of LED backlits: bottom, all four, back. The bottom orientation is seen in most mobile computing platforms such as netbooks and notebook PCs but front-screen performance is not necessarily improved over those with CCFL backlits. New LCD monitors that use LED backlits typically place a strip on each edge of the LCD module for a total of four strips. Similar to a single strip on the bottom, this type of LED backlit does not necessarily improve front-screen performance. The last type of LED backlit orientation is at the back. In this setting the LEDs can be progressively scanned to improve motion blur. Local dimming, where portions of the LCD are dimmed depending on the brightness of the video content, can vastly improve contrast ratio. With a RGB LED backlit the color gamut is also significantly improved in addition to reduced motion blur and enhanced contrast. Many high-end LCD TV models as well as LCD monitors are showing up with LED backlit technology with some incorporating RGB LED backlits.

Utra-thin LCD modules

LCD TVs at CES 2009 were mostly about being thin due to LEDs. LEDs coupled with advanced optical films can allow for extremely thin LCD modules. This applies to mobile computing, LCD monitors and LCD TVs. Thin portable devices make it easier to carry around while really thin LCD TVs make it aesthetically pleasing especially when mounted flush against the wall.

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