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Transflective TFTs: The next big thing in TFT displays

Transflective TFTs: The next big thing in TFT displays

Aug 30th 2019


What is so special about transflective TFTs? First, what is a TFT?

TFT modules display graphics, videos, characters and icons in 64,000,000 unique colors. They’ve been utilized in many products, from laptop computers, TVs and heart monitors, to automobiles and phones.

Think of how many times you tried to read your phone or tablet’s display on a sunny day only to search for shade. Until recently, transmissive TFTs were the only game in town. They excelled in dark and low light environments but were difficult to read in sunlight. The only solution to combat the sun involved a brighter backlight. One that produced 700+ Nits of brightness. (A Nit is the amount of light produced by one candle)

The brighter the backlight, the more power required. As it turns out, great sunlight readability is not so great for battery powered products.

Times have changed. Transflective TFTs are readable in direct sunlight and darkness. With the added advantage that the backlight can be turned off to save power and reduce heat generation.

Transflective TFTs are a hybrid of reflective and transmissive technology.

Reflective technology reflects 100% of the sunlight toward the user, but blocks any light generated from the backlight. This makes it impossible to place a backlight behind it for nighttime operation.

Transmissive technology is just the opposite. It allows 100% of the backlight to pass through the LCD cell toward the user for nighttime operation but can’t reflect any sunlight for daytime operation.

Transflective technology achieves both goals by placing a transparent reflector between the backlight and the TFT cell. The reflector’s job is to reflect 100% of the sunlight back toward the user and it allows 100% of the backlight to pass through to the user.

Key Advantages of a Transflective TFT

Less Power:

Transflective TFTs consume less power when the backlight is turned off during sunlight operations. This is key for battery powered products.

Less Heat: 

On transmissive TFTs, the backlight can generate a lot of heat because the backlight must be “on” whenever the display is being used/read. Transflective TFTs generate less heat because the display is readable without the backlight on. 


Focus LCDs maintains inventory of TFTs, character displays and other LCD technologies in our Chandler, Arizona warehouse. In many cases, we’re able to ship samples the same day you call.

FocusLCDs = LCDs made simple.