VATN Display technology for Black Background LCDs

VATN Display technology for Black Background LCDs
March 8, 2017 Eric Hawkins
In Journals

Re-Introducing VATN display technology

Black background LCDs are becoming very popular for LCD design engineers. Automotive, Aviation, Industrial, Medical, no matter your industry, if your application requires a LCD display that is easily readable in low or no-light conditions give serious consideration to the VATN display!

Re-introducing the VATN display since it is not a ‘brand new’ display technology, but its popularity is increasing as more companies are switching from negative-mode STN and FSTN over to VATN or BTN (Black Twisted Nematic) on new product designs.

The Vertically Aligned Twisted Nematic (aka VATN display) earns its name from the position of how the fluid is placed between the two layers of glass. The fluid is rotated by 90 degrees compared to older TN, STN and FSTN display technologies.

Why VATN display?

Monochrome LCD technology has advanced in the last several years. In the beginning TN (Twisted Nematic) technology was seen in pagers and digital watches.

Then came STN (Super Twisted Nematic) providing a wider viewing angle; FSTN was the next breakthrough which delivered the wide viewing angle of STN plus increased contrast.

The VATN display (or BTN) now offers the benefits of FSTN plus the additional features of a ultra-black background with the added bonus of an increase in the brightness of the segments.

Benefits of the VATN display



VATN tooling cost is a fraction of that required for a TFT Display or bistable (Cholesteric) zero-power display. The total investment required for design, support and samples of VATN black background LCDs, is an estimated 5% higher than FSTN, STN or TN.

You, the engineer, can not only choose the type of segments, icons and glass size needed for your design, but also the type of bus/interface necessary including I2C, SPI, parallel or a multiplexed bus?


The ultra black background LCDs are achieved by reducing backlight leakage that ranges from 5% to 10% on older technologies to less than 1% on VATN.

VATN Performance specs

The black background LCDs can operate at 3.3V or 5V. Current draw is a function of the size of the glass and number of LEDs, and can be as low as 15ma per display.

Operating temperatures range from a low of -30C and a high of +80C is possible with extended temperature fluid.

How does VATN differ from older TN technology?

Below is an illustration showing the difference between TN Negative mode and VATN negative mode:

VATN demo boards available

Ready to begin your VATN LCD design? Fill out the Contact form or CALL 480-503-4295.