Jointly Developed "Tiled" LCD Soon to be Unleashed

Last November, Philips' flat-panel display division and Rainbow Displays announced their agreement to jointly develop large, "tiled" LCDs for a variety of next-generation consumer and business applications. Making good on that promise, last week the companies announced that they will showcase the industry's first 37.5-inch "tiled" flat-panel display at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) Japan 2000, to be held October 3–7, 2000, in Tokyo.

Philips describes "tiling" as a display manufacturing technology that combines several smaller-sized liquid crystal displays (LCDs) to produce a single large, flat LCD without any visible seams. As a result, Philips claims that the technology is ideal for addressing the industry's need for larger LCD panels (30 inches and above), without the high cost and manufacturing and performance hurdles associated with the production of a single LCD panel of this size.

The recent emergence of HDTV and digital TV, along with the adoption of large displays for use in public areas such as airport terminals, stock exchanges, and conference rooms, are fueling the demand for larger flat displays. But the market for flat-panel displays has been plagued by several issues: high prices, less-than-ideal resolutions, brightness/contrast problems, and overall visual quality. Philips says that tiling is designed to address these obstacles and improve on current flat-panel technology.

According to Philips, tiling uses proprietary optical and illumination treatments to render the seams surrounding each of the individual smaller displays invisible to the naked eye. As a result, the company claims, large tiled displays can deliver superior performance and resolution capabilities at costs comparable to those of today's smaller LCDs. "Specifically, tiled LCDs will surpass other flat-display technologies larger than 30 inches in the field through their superior reliability and performance in daylight conditions."

Philips' Matt Medeiros sees the 37.5-inch tiled LCD exhibition at CEATEC Japan as a significant industry milestone. "This marks the first time in history that any display manufacturer has publicly demonstrated the ability to cost-effectively create a large-scale LCD both seamlessly and efficiently, while delivering best-in-class display performance." Philips says that the LCD to be showcased at CEATEC Japan is made with three individual LCD panels in a 1x3 matrix that equates to a 37.5-inch-diagonal configuration.