Examining the Brilliant Popularity of Monochrome LCD Panels

In an industry that garners worldwide demand and attention, the pervasion of the monochromatic LCD panel is astonishing. There are many new types of panel technologies that are released and produced every year, such as OLED, plasma, LED, and yet the humble monochromatic LCD panel persists through time and technical change in both industrial and consumer applications.

Monochrome LCDs have been available for some time and were initially invented in 1968; since then, their usage in devices such as CT scanners, radios, automotive electronics, mobile communicators, and others has only grown. There are a few key reasons why this intelligent technology continues to be a staple in our industry which are reliability, engineering simplicity, efficiency, cost, functionality and versatility. Monochrome displays display a picture of a single color and are available in white, amber, or green screens. The user dictates the color of the screen.

Reliability is a key consideration for most project owners, especially in the areas of healthcare, defense, industrial applications and other mission-critical use cases. Monochrome LCDs are time-proven, especially in industries such as the above mentioned, that require functionality and reliability over all else. Monochrome LCDs are reliable because the manufacturing processes are extremely well understood and executed today. Unlike OLED, for example, which has a lifespan that is dependent upon the density of the subpixels and the color of the subpixels with blue subpixels having the shortest life. With monochrome LCDs, the life is so long that the operating life is usually measured based on the half life of the LED backlight that is assembled onto the LCD as a separate component and ranges from 50,000 to 100,000 hours.

When it comes to actually producing monochrome LCDs, there are a limited number of components that have to be sourced and produced. These can consist of a housing, a diffuser, a PCB or FPC, an LCD driver, ITO glass, and the liquid crystals themselves. Due to the relative simplicity and reduced number of parts, reliability is maximized while also allowing for a relatively simpler manufacturing process.

Energy efficiency is a major topic when it comes to portable electronics, especially for commercial or consumer use. Monochrome LCD panel units typically allow for reduced energy consumption that can often be less than 1mA when the backlight is off. Adding a backlight can be mission-critical but will typically also be the cause of higher power consumption. An additional consideration is that monochromatic LCD units will require reduced processing and memory usage.

Cost may be the most sensitive factor a project owner may consider when choosing a monochrome LCD. A major reason that costs have been so manageable is that production facilities have largely worked out the sourcing and tooling kinks that a regular supply chain has. Monochrome LCDs are the bread and butter by which many project owners operate, and due to this steady, increasing demand, the economies of scale have also translated to a lower price for customers as bulk component orders are cheaper for suppliers to manage and fill per unit.

The versatility offered by monochrome panels is nearly unmatched. Due to the low costs associated with tooling and manufacturing, custom solutions can easily be provided. Whether the need is for a certain pixel density, to remain below a certain cost, or even to fit within a current project’s housing. The versatility of this technology can allow monochrome LCD modules to be customized in a way that can achieve many project requirements that are unachievable by other technologies.

When it comes to choosing the right LCD for your project, you certainly won’t be let down by monochrome. It is clear that the reliability, versatility, and functionality are great reasons to consider this technology for your next product. FocusLCDs offers a plethora of choices and can help answer any questions you may have when it comes to exact specifications or even project-specific recommendations.