Wednesday, August 17, 2022

What’s New in Displays for Embedded Systems

Various challenges, such as physical size and power consumption, have become more of a concern for embedded devices. This article presents some high-level solutions that are available to tackle the challenge -- PANKAJ V.

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In addition to being thin and light, these modules deliver the same energy efficiency and daylight readability of all E-Ink displays. Besides, the energy efficiency further reduces weight of the end products by requiring a much smaller battery.

Flexible active-matrix displays for wearable electronics. MOBIUS is another E-Ink technology that is mainly used by smartwatch start-ups like Sonostar and Transmart for designing flexible wearable display solutions. MOBIUS-based modules are smaller version of displays based on flexible-TFT technology. Lightweight and rugged properties make them conformable, so the end product has a better fit for the consumer.

With the inherent power management capability, these EPD modules are ideal for lightweight portable products that require a large display surface. Also, if you only want to display some numbers, and those numbers change very infrequently, no point in refreshing the display every time to burn power.

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OLED technology for high-end mobile devices
OLED technology has been around for quite some time, but now it is evolving with more advanced features and physics, promising to be the technology for the future designs. OLED displays are improving at a very impressive rate of about 20 per cent or more year-on-year in brightness, colour management, colour accuracy, resolution, PPI and power efficiency.

OLED technology has many advantages over the other display technologies in terms of performance as well as power. Avinash Babu, senior architect, Mistral Solutions, explains, “People are slowly moving the display technologies to OLED-based technology. An OLED-based display generally helps the designers in terms of having a better contrast, it is lightweight and it consumes less power. If you see the viewing angle as well, it is better in OLED as compared to TFT.”

Flexible and curved OLED modules. Special OLED solutions are available for design engineers, making it possible to have curved and flexible displays for the futuristic designs. It is one of the major and important innovations in the display world, helping to design better and efficient displays. The popular Samsung YOUM line of displays targets designers of smartphones and wearables.

Curved surface significantly reduces, and sometimes even eliminates, reflections from ambient light sources. This not only improves screen readability and image quality but also allows the displays to run at lower brightness, thereby increasing their power efficiency and battery-running time. These OLEDs, being incredibly thin at just a fraction of a millimetre, along with the curved and flexible surfaces, are a suitable choice for mobile displays and the trending wearable displays.

Even higher resolution and brightness. As if resolution on current Samsung Galaxy S5 wasn’t enough, many vendors have introduced even-higher-resolution AMOLED panels and modules. One example is AUO’s WQHD AMOLED panel with 2560×1440 resolution at 513PPI. But vendors like Sharp, Samsung and SDC have gone further and announced resolutions of 560, 664 and even 860PPI. Apart from high resolution, ultra-slim designs up to 0.57mm have been realised and special drivers are being integrated to increase their touch sensitivity.

Using new structure and new OLEDs, manufacturers have come up with high-brightness PMOLED modules, which mainly target the increasing demand for wearable devices. These new OLED modules offer unparalleled clarity, even in direct sunlight, featuring a luminance of 1000 nits, which is nearly ten times of that available with average OLED modules.

The only challenge for OLED technology is the manufacturing cost and yield. Though OLEDs have many benefits associated with them, manufacturing of OLEDs is still lacking behind in terms of productivity. Nate Srinath, founder-director, Inxee says, “Cost of manufacturing OLEDs is much higher than LCDs, and also people still don’t appreciate their significance. The major challenges for OLEDs are reducing production costs and increasing production capacities.”

Light capturing cavities in numeric displays
Demand for compact and efficient products has resulted in more compact and space-saving designs in 7-segment numeric displays, like those found in Lumex LDP-2R2608RD-50 series. These latest LED-based offerings use the brightest chip technology and light-capturing cavities, which allows them to offer maximum brightness and legibility without sacrificing any colour intensity or uniformity.

These single-package designs with multiple digits and icons can display any type of word or icon due to the display overlay. If you are looking for displays for board or panel indication, telecom switches and central station equipment, control panels with high-brightness lighting, these compact solutions might be the answer.

Developing displays for embedded systems
There are various standard low-cost display development kits available to aid your designs. These kits not only have the required hardware like display module, cables, controllers and power supply but also the reference manuals and codes (if required) to program your modules. You can also have live online support for working with the kits. Some vendors provide an exclusive GUI web-portal development site license along with their kits to help design engineers with an advanced approach to web-based development.

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  1. Hello sir,
    I want USB based OLED development kits may i know the vendors provided these kits and if required i also need certain display modules used in present embedded systems.


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