Cheaper, Flatter, Faster

Last week, Westaim Advanced Display Technologies Inc. announced that it has unveiled a flat-panel display with 2 million colors using Solid State Display (SSD) technology. The company says the 5" high-contrast, full-color prototype display has a TV-like viewing angle and full motion video that is 20 times faster than the liquid-crystal display technology.

The company also announced it will publicly demonstrate a prototype 17" flat-panel display for the first time at next month's Society for Information Display (SID) conference in San Jose, California, May 16-21. First tested in December 1998, the 17" display shows that SSD can be made in larger sizes and can achieve the resolution requirements for larger-format high-definition television (HDTV). Westaim claims that SSD, originally based on low-cost printed-circuit-board technology, is simpler and costs less to make than other graphic-display technologies---a requirement for converting the $60 billion CRT-based TV market to flat-panel products.

According to Dr. Xingwei Wu, director of science and technology for Westaim, "This is the first time we have shown the video performance advantages of SSD. SSD is the only flat-panel display technology capable of producing full-speed high-quality video with CRT-like performance in large sizes. Comparable flat-panel technologies suffer from size restriction, slow image response, or image degradation such as false contouring, shimmering, dithering, and color misrepresentation."