How to avoid choosing an End-Of-Life LCD

Dear CE (Caffeinated Engineer) — I live in fear that one day purchasing will storm into my office asking, “What in the world were you thinking when you chose this LCD? It just went to End of Life!”

-Living in fear

Dear Living in fear:

Yes, this is a very real fear. Please sit down, pour yourself a fresh up of coffee and let’s see how to avoid these nasty little show downs.

When starting a new LCD design, the first question every engineer should ask is “How long will this LCD be available?” Below is a quick technology guide to answer this age-old question.


Probability of discontinuance? = Very low

Segment displays are constructed of a few simple items: ITO glass, pins and fluid. All are very common commodities widely available from many suppliers. Even if your current supplier stops production, twenty more are waiting to jump in and pick up the slack.


Probability of discontinuance? = Very low

Character LCDs are composed of: Glass, a PCB, Nematic fluid and a Controller chip. They’ve been around for many, many years and will continue for many more due to their low cost and ease of programing. Character LCDs are in stock and can ship ASAP.


Probability of discontinuance? = Medium

Although TFTs have been in production for many years, manufactures discontinue production when demand for a specific configuration falls bellows a threshold. Choose a standard glass size such as: 1.8”, 2.4”, 3.5”, 4.3”, 5” and 7”


Probability of discontinuance? = Medium

There are few OLED production lines and that fact alone makes them prone for discontinuance. As long as one or two high volume customers (cell phones, fit bits etc.) demand the same display you chose, availability will remain high and the cost low. But . . . once those key customers pull out, the OLED manufacturer shuts down that production line to make room for the next more popular display.

Want some free, really good, dark roast coffee? Send us your LCD questions. If we use your name, we will send you coffee and plans for an escape route from your cubical just in case purchasing come a looking.

Send your questions to: Dear CE at lcd@focuslcd.com

  • To help reduce your risk of facing a purchasing show down. We are offering a 15% off new prototypes and samples for segment and character LCDs. Just pour a hot cup of coffee and use code ‘CE’ (spelling is critical here)

Have any questions about End of Life products? Contact us today!