Flatter. Brighter. Thinner. Different!
Sony—despite its current financial ailments—agreed recently to share the cost with Samsung of a $2 billion factory in Korea to manufacture "seventh-generation glass," the next wave of "amorphous substrates" that will be used for large-screen monitors by 2005.
Meanwhile, another Samsung subsidiary is working with Semtech Corp. to develop proprietary power management chips for high-speed displays. Philips began touting its electrowetting technology a few months ago. The format could create paper-like displays that show images at video speeds. The Dutch researchers toyed with images using pixels as small as 500-by-500 microns, with reflectivity greater than 40 percent and contrast ratios of 15 and brighter. It's an eyeful, although commercial rollout plans, either for TV or computer applications, hasn't been determined.
At CES in January, comedian Jay Leno observed that flat-screen TVs are arriving at the same time that Americans recognize the national obesity plague. Leno said that screens are getting thinner as viewers are getting fatter. But he didn't offer any preferences or awareness of the numerous options becoming available. Nor could he—or anyone—yet handicap the winners or favored features as the next generation of big, flat, bright screens enter the marketplace.