Do I Need LCD 2.0?

Engineer to engineer, Adnan Baleh answers common questions about the frontlit reflective technology behind LCD 2.0.
Ask An Engineer Header Image_Adnan_Q221

Welcome to our new blog series, Ask an Engineer, in which we talk directly to our engineering team about their work at Azumo and what’s next in display tech.

This week, we spoke to Adnan Baleh, Azumo’s Senior FAE, about what exactly LCD 2.0 is and how it can be integrated into product lines.
Adnan came to Azumo from Samsung, where he was an applications engineer in their passive components division, primarily working in industrial and automotive markets. Today, he helps us manage production planning and environmental testing procedures to ensure our products comply with industry standards.

What brought you to Azumo?

I was looking for an exciting field where products are evolving.

When Azumo reached out, I didn’t even know what frontlit displays were, but after I talked to the team, I saw that Azumo’s product has massive potential and that there’s a real need in the market for LCD 2.0.

I also saw that this frontlit reflective display doesn’t have direct competition in the market – everyone else out there is selling a different type of display.

How would you describe the LCD 2.0 to someone who hasn’t heard of it before?

Let’s start with a familiar device – a tablet – most of which have a backlit LCD display, which is the most common way to light LCDs today. You just put an array of LEDs behind it and the LCD itself has microholes that let light from the backlight pass through them to illuminate the screen. In order for that screen to perform well, you need to make those holes as small as possible.

The smaller you make those holes, the less light goes through. So much light is pushed through our devices to light these displays, but 90-94% of that backlight is trapped behind the display. And the waste gets worse in bright light.

LCD 2.0 is a frontlit reflective display that eliminates this waste:

  • A frontlit reflective display doesn’t compete with the sun or ambient light.
  •  The front light design tightly controls the lighting angles which allows it to illuminate the displays with minimal power.

What Azumo typically uses is a single LED, which is extremely low power. We place this within a very thin film, which works like a pipe to distribute the light only to where it’s needed to illuminate your display.

What makes LCD 2.0 revolutionary?

It eliminates energy waste and makes displays function more efficiently.

Reflective displays have been around for years, but did not have an efficient way of lighting. Azumo now has the technology to efficiently illuminate rLCDs and the capacity to scale up.

What are engineers and product designers most excited to learn about these frontlit reflective displays?

There are three big things engineers get excited about when they learn about LCD 2.0:

  1. Power savings. Frontlit reflective LCD uses 10% of the power a backlight requires.
  2. Outdoor visibility. Even if you’re indoors, you save power by leveraging ambient light, but these displays perform as well outdoors in bright light as they do in your home office.
  3. Easier on the eyes. Most kids are online every day, all day, thanks to remote learning requirements during the pandemic. Traditional backlit displays have a demonstrated impact on eye health. LCD 2.0 tackles this issue by leveraging natural light and reducing eye strain. 

What else should engineers know about LCD 2.0?

LCD 2.0 has tremendous potential. Honestly, it’s such a cool technology because it gives you the best of a few worlds: outdoor visibility, eye health, and lower power consumption.

I wish both engineers and product designers knew that these benefits aren’t exaggerated. With LCD 2.0, you don’t have to use up your energy budget to light the screen anymore – you can use it somewhere else. The power savings you gain with a reflective display alone can unlock so many design opportunities.

Why does it matter that Azumo’s display module is “drop-in ready”?

No one wants to go through another cycle of design. Especially if you’re working on a device for medical or industrial use that has a lot of regulatory requirements, you don’t want to go back and redesign your product to accommodate a different display type.

Our front light portfolio has many sizes, displays, and resolutions – there’s always a display from Azumo that you can swap in for a traditional backlit LCD.

Our goal is to make the switching to a frontlit reflective LCD as easy as possible, and that’s what we do.

Where do you see reflective displays and LCD 2.0 going in the future?

I see LCD 2.0 integrated into devices from laptops to huge billboards to the inside of our cars. Last summer when we were all stuck inside, it would have been awesome to sit in the sun with my laptop to work – and I look forward to that being a reality very soon.

Within the next two to five years, we’ll see this used in our daily lives, especially in our computers and our tablets. Working with major tablet makers today, I know that products will hit the market that will grab more attention later this year.

Connect with Adnan on LinkedIn here.

If you want to learn more about how you can apply LCD 2.0 to your next project, reach out to us at info@azumotech.com.

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