Brainstorm: Next Generation Displays
"What technology trends do you feel will dominate the development of
Raouf Abdullah, Pericom Semiconductor, www.pericom.com 
Next-Generation displays are being driven by consumer demand for higher resolutions, faster refresh rates, and deeper color depths. Consumers are also driving demands for larger panel sizes at lower costs. Finally, the environment is shaping the future plans of next generation displays.
Higher data rates beyond 10 Gbps are now required for wider screen aspect ratios (16x9 vs. 4x3), increase in color depths (24 bits to 48 bits), higher refresh rates (60 Hz to 120 Hz), and higher resolutions (1080 p and 1440 p). To achieve audio/video data rates beyond 10 Gbps, one can only choose HDMI (10.2 Gbps max) or DisplayPort (10.8 Gbps max). HDMI has become the dominant player in the consumer world due to early adoption, while DP strives for dominance in the PC world by supporting lower cost PC-based monitors.
In regards to the market drive for larger panel sizes, it’s not the 108” LCD panel from Sharp that consumers are pushing for, but panels from 25”-50”. According to DisplaySearch, in 2006 the number one panel size for DTV market was 20”-21”, while by 2011 the number one panel size will increase to 30”-34”. This is lead by reduced costs of 30”-34” panels. While 20” panel ASPs dropped 4% from ’06-’07, 30”-50” panel ASPs have dropped >30% from ’06-’07. The adoption of DisplayPort Panels can also lead to quicker ASP reduction of the entire system. This is because direct drive DP Monitors can eliminate costly SCALAR ICs which allow PCs to directly connect to panels.
Finally, environmental concerns are pushing panels to transition from mercury contained fluorescent-tube-based LCDs to panels with LED backlighting. These panels can increase the color gamut, reduce system power, and allow for thinner displays. An example is Apple’s MacBook Air.
In conclusion, higher data-rates, higher resolutions, deeper color depths, thinner displays, and mercury free designs are gong to lead the future of next-generation displays.