UWVD LCDs: The Next Big Thing in Ultra-High Contrast Displays

UWVD, aka Ultra-Wide Viewing Displays, is exactly what its name says. The black contrast of this display is much sharper than previous display technologies such as FSTN.


The oldest monochrome technology is called TN, Twisted Nematic. These displays were used in older applications such as pagers, but are still very popular in products that must have a low price point and operate in colder environments. 

Users could read the letter and numbers, but the lack of sharpness made some characters appear grayish. The viewing angle was small and required the reader to view the display straight on. If the display was rotated by more than a few degrees, it was difficult to read.

After TN came STN, Super Twisted Nematic, which offered a sharper contrast and wider viewing angle. These displays are very common today and can be seen in products such as gas pumps, alarm clocks, digital watches, and coffee makers. The price difference of STN and TN displays is typically between 5% and 10%. STN displays tend to be yellow/green in color, but with the use of filters, other colors can be achieved.

FSTN, Film-compensated Super-Twisted Nematic, was developed to provide a wider viewing angle and an even sharper contrast. FSTN displays maintain a contrast ratio of 20:1. These have become very popular in products where price is not as critical as having a sharp contrast. This includes industries such as medical and aviation.

FSTN displays tend to be white or black, but they are also available in other colors. The price difference of FSTN and STN displays is typically between 10% and 15%.

Introducing UWVD

UWVDs operate using a different principle than TN displays. Their construction provides the following advantages over older technology.


1. Contrast ratio is greater than 200:1

2. Fully customizable display

3. Wider temperature range

4. Works well in direct sunlight

Contrast ratio is a method of measuring the sharpness of a display. The higher the number, the greater the visible difference between the background and segments is. This removes the fuzziness or grayness that surrounds the area between the letters and the background. This can be seen when comparing an HDTV to an older color TV. Customers will pay more for the sharper contrast of the HD TV. How would your UWVD equipped product compare next to your competitor?

Hardware designers and project managers can have a UWVD built to the size and shape they require. The backlight color is available in a multitude of colors including white, blue, red, yellow and others. Compared to customer TFTs, UWVDs have a much lower NRE and MOQ (minimum order quantity).

With a wider operating temperature range, TN displays operate between -20C and +50C. Once you exceed this range the display will either freeze up, or turn black and become unreadable.

UWVD’s have extended the operating temperature range to -30C to +80C. Although this is still not as wide of an operating temperature as OLED’s, the half-life of the UWVD is several factors larger. 

If you are looking to make your product stand out from your competitor, UWVD may be the answer. And if you’re looking for UWVD displays, contact FocusLCDs!