Advanced Imaging


Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

LED Backlights Brighten Up Displays

Lower prices and longer life help provide cost-effective alternatives to CCFLs

By Kari O'Rourke

Introduced in the marketplace a few years ago, displays with LED backlights had a fairly short life span—5,000-10,000 hours—and were offered at higher prices than CCFLs. Now that the life expectancy for TFT LCDs has grown significantly— 50,000-70,000 hours—they have become more suitable for medical and industrial display applications. And with pricing on the decline, they are also more cost-effective alternatives to CCFL products.

White LED backlights have traditionally been used in items like cell phones, but now are being used in LCDs larger than 5 inches. For example, NEC Electronics America (Santa Clara, Calif.) currently offers a variety of white LED LCDs measuring up to 15.3 inches. These currently are used in a broad range of applications, including test and measurement equipment, portable medical devices and other battery-powered portable display applications where power consumption must be minimized.

Barco’s (Kortrijk Belgium) new diagnostic display system with high-bright LCD panel, Nio Color 3MP recently obtained 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, making it available for commercial distribution. The new version of the Nio Color 3MP builds upon the proven benefits of the previous model, but now features a high-bright LCD panel that provides a calibrated luminance of 400 cd/m˛ throughout its entire lifetime. Combined with outstanding color accuracy, it makes the display perfectly suited for applications that take advantage of color, including PET imaging, fMRI, perfusion, spectroscopy and CAD. Another innovation is the built-in system for uniformity correction.

NEC LCD Technologies (Santa Clara, Calif.)developed a new amorphous-silicon color thin-film-transistor (TFT) liquid crystal display (LCD) module that achieves an ultra-wide color gamut for 100 percent of the Adobe RGB color range by incorporating a newly developed LED light-source unit into the backlight system and a newly developed color filter. The white LED that serves as the light source for the backlight unit in this LCD module achieves its white light by mixing light generated through the irradiation of red, green, and blue (RGB) phosphors with light from a near-ultraviolet LED chip (excitation), making it superior to traditional white LEDs in terms of color-rendering properties.

 3M Touch Systems (Austin, Texas) announces a “true multi-touch” LCD developer kit that tracks up to 10 individual fingers and is compatible with the Microsoft Windows 7 platform. The 3M Multi-touch Developer Kit is a 19-inch wide-aspect ratio LCD display featuring 3M Projected Capacitive touch technology. Supporting standard flick and scale gestures, as well as accurately tracking 10 individual fingers from single or multiple users, this display has a durable glass surface and less than 15 milliseconds touch response, making it ideal for developing next- generation games and user applications. The 3M Multi-touch Developer Kit includes the 19-inch wide-aspect ratio (16:10, 1440 x 900 resolution) LCD chassis display, desktop stand, USB and VGA cables, plus access to the password-secure 3M Multi-touch Developer Program site for firmware updates, on-line technical support, and hosted developer forum. Popular interactive applications include casino gaming, retail point of sale, foodservice, hospitality, self-service, industrial, healthcare and interactive digital signage.

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