Thin LCDs – Thin color TFT displays are “IN style”

Thin is “IN”. I’m not talking about a new weight loss diet; I’m talking about the thickness (in the Z direction) of Thin LCDs and Color LCD Displays. Thin Color TFTs are all the rage these days.

You may be too young to remember the old black and white and first generation color TVs. In the ‘old days’ a large screen TV was 12” in diameter and weighed more than a modern day room air conditioner. And as for thickness, it contained a ray tube that would make the TV 18 inches thick or more. I can’t even imagine the amount of power those things required.

Since that time, LCD displays have improved dramatically with three key areas showing the most changes:

  • Lower power
  • More and brighter colors
  • Thinness

Thin LCDs

Last week we had a customer contact us for a 2.4” color TFT display. He needed low power, an ultra-fast interface, and most of all he needed “thin”.

When people ask for a thin LCD, my first thought is an OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode), since they do not require a backlight. Also, OLEDs have a good reputation for being a power miser, but in this case the TFT was an off-the-shelf solution.

The 2.4 TFT has a max thickness of 5.6mm in the ‘Z’ direction and can operate with a logic voltage of 3.3V.

Note: this display, like most TFTs, requires a charge pump or booster circuit that may disqualify it used in intrinsic applications.

The TFT comes equipped with a resistive touch screen, but the customer requested a multi-touch (CTP) capacitive touch screen.

It is possible to manufacture a custom capacitive touch panel and apply it to the glass. This would require a one-time NRE.

The down side to the capacitive touch panel is the increase in thickness of an additional 1.4mm. The engineer was able to modify his cad drawing to accommodate the extra thickness and incorporate the FT5216 controller for the CTP.

The standard TFT offered an 8-bit CPU interface, but the customer requested an ultra-fast LVDS interface. LVDS (Low Voltage Differential Signaling) has become the choice for many displays that require high speed. However, this option is not cheap. If your project is cost-sensitive you might need to switch your interface over to 16-bit, SPI or even RGB (Red/Green/Blue)

If your product is not cost sensitive, another upgrade would be for IPS (In-plane switching), IPS offers a consistent, true color from all viewing angles. Also, when contact is made, it does not show tailing.

Regardless of your budget and design requirements, Thin Color TFT displays are available with several options for every price point from a Cadillac to a Chevy to meet your budget.

Ready to speak to a US based LCD design specialist? Call us at 480-503-4295 or visit our TFT and OLED pages to purchase online today.