Notebooks: Kyocera launches LED backlights, and more

Kyocera has released a series of LCD panels with LED backlighting, and in Taiwan other companies are focusing on this growing market.

Kyocera releases mid-size LCD panels with LED backlighting

Kyocera Corporation has released a new line of liquid-crystal displays (LCDs) that feature an LED backlighting system instead of conventional cold-cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFLs). The new LCD products, which Kyocera is now shipping, are designed to meet a wide range of industrial display applications, including manufacturing controls, test and measurement equipment, and medical systems.

The new backlights are available in STN, CSTN, and TFT models, introduced first in 4.7-inch and 5.7-inch diagonal modules. Introduction of 3.5-, 6.2-, 7.5-, 8.9-, and 10.4-inch modules will follow. Kyocera expects to be shipping 30,000 units per month by March 2007.

According to Kyocera, there are several benefits to using LED backlights, such as faster start-up in low temperature environments, and higher reliability via improved shock and vibration resistance (unlike CCFLs, there are no glass tubes). The backlights are also lead- and mercury-free for optimum environmental friendliness.

Also, the LCDs operate from a 3/5/12 Vdc supply, with reduced or zero EMI, since there is no inverter. Finally, current control of the LEDs is able to modify luminance control to further reduce power consumption and extend battery life.

Everlight develops 1,400mcd LEDs for notebooks

Taiwan-based Everlight Electronics has developed 1,400-mcd white LEDs for notebooks with LED backlighting, according to a report on the Digitimes website.

The company apparently expects shipments of LEDs for 12.1- and 15-inch notebooks to commence in small volumes in the second quarter of next year, according to company spokesman Pang-Yen Liu. Liu suggested that a 12.1-inch notebooks would require about 42 LEDs with a total cost of $6, making them highly competitive with CCFLs.

Figures from Taiwan's Topology Research Institute suggest that the penetration rate of LEDs in notebook application will climb to 8% in 2007, or 6.8 million units, and with an average of 33 LEDs per backlight this suggests a total demand of 224 million LEDs for this application.

Everlight has also started shipping LEDs for 19- and 20-inch LCD monitors and 20-inch LCD TVs in small volumes, with those for 32- and 37-inch LCD TVs to be shipped in small volumes in the second quarter of 2007.

Backlight unit maker Radiant to invest in LED maker

Radiant Opto-Electronics, Taiwan's largest backlight unit (BLU) maker, expects LEDs to steadily replace cold-cathode fluorescent lamp (CCFL) applications as the mainstream BLU technology, and has decided to invest NT$200-300 million in LED maker Bright View Electronics.

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