Re: HDTV Flat Panels: Chip Packaging

Dan Clemmensen (
Sun, 08 Nov 1998 11:23:03 -0500

John Clark wrote:
> - From posted Oct 6 1998
> - -BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The pictures that accompany a University at Buffalo paper in
> this week's issue of Science show what looks like an exquisitely uniform
> field of wheat, or a close-up of a neatly trimmed "buzz cut."
> In fact, the perfectly even rows of tall, skinny, carbon nanotubes represent
> a major advance that brings researchers much closer to developing the flat
> panel displays that one day will make it possible to hang your TV or computer
> monitor on the wall like a picture. [......]

This is interesting technology, but is not immediately relevant to integrating a display onto a silicon wafer. Basically if I understand the contemplated buckytube-based display, it will be a type of FED (field-emmision display) In a FED, there is back plate with gazillions of field-emitters separated by a narrow vacuum-filled gap from a front plate with phosphors. very high voltage electrons from the field emitters strike the phosphors, yielding TV-like display characteristics (brightness, field-of view, pixel density) but with an overall thickness of less thatn an inch regardless of display size. However, I think that the switching (i.e., pixel selection and scanning) is done on the front panel, not on the back. FEDs are already being made, using MEMs-style emitters. The breakthrough is in the cost and quality of the emitters.

My original comments related to LCDs, which don't use wafer technology. Please note that there is a wafer-based display technology that is very exciting: the micro-monitor. These devices reduce a SVGA-quality monitor to less than a square centimeter, and then use optics to create a virtual screen in front of the viewer's eyes. Why bother with a 30" wall screen fixed to one place when you can have a virtual 30" screen all the time as part of your wearable info appliance?