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Release: October 16, 2001

NGK Develops World's First Piezoelectric Ceramic Displays

NGK INSULATORS, LTD. has successfully developed the world's first piezoelectric ceramic displays, the "CeramVision" and the "CeramBoard" using its own Micro Ceramics technology. NGK's proprietary technology has created a completely new display principle employing micro ceramic actuators which activate the pixels. These innovative displays achieve high resolution despite their large screen size, combination of small panels that allows a wide range of screen configurations, high luminance and an astonishingly wide viewing angle. The displays can be used in various public facilities such as railway stations, airports, halls and store windows. NGK will work jointly with the Transportation Bureau, City of Nagoya on test-installations at subway stations starting in December 2001. The displays will be used as advertisement and information board as well as for demonstrations.

<< Detailed description of piezoelectric ceramic displays >>

1. Display Principle

Piezoelectric micro actuators serve as the pixel drive source. Color development is controlled by bringing each pixel into contact with or distancing it from the optical waveguide plate.

2. Configuration

A tiled display construction in which 9-centimeter square small panels that serve as the basic unit are laid out and combined like tiles. Micro ceramic actuators are integrated on each small panel at a high density.

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3. Features

[1] High resolution despite the large screen size

The pixel pitch of 2.8 mm is less than one-third of the corresponding figure for LED (light-emitting diode) display which is common for large screen sizes. This provides high resolution despite the large size of the screen, and it ensures that the screen displays clearly visible from position near and far.

Images are faithfully reproduced by using 16.7 million colors. Even white, which LED displays could not show, can now be displayed. With a high resolution surpassing that of LED displays, full-color messages composed of 2 or 3 lines of characters can be displayed on 90 mm screen with great clarity for electronic notice boards.

The response time of the pixels is less than a millisecond. Compared with LCD (liquid crystal displays) in which this time is several dozen milliseconds, high-speed moving images can be reproduced more faithfully.

[2] Wide range of screen configurations by thin and small panels

The tiled display construction, whereby a number of small panels are combined like tiles, gives flexibility to select the screen size and shape. Panels can be positioned only in those areas where they are required, allowing all kinds of screen configurations, including hole-in-the-middle layouts, to be used.

No gases, liquid crystals or similar substances are used in these displays, so there are no sealing margins around each small panel. This allows a continuous image to be displayed with no seams between the panels even though the tiled display construction is used

These displays are extremely slim despite their large size (approximately 150 mm for an 80-inch display), and their thickness is much less than that required by rear projection displays. They take up the minimal space, and allow installation in the existing sites.

[3] High luminance and an astonishingly wide viewing angle

Users are allowed maximum flexibility in light quantity design to suit the brightness of the installation environment. The design can range from several candelas per square meter up to a high luminance of 1,000 candelas per square meter. The optimum light quantity design ensures that no energy will be wasted.

The light-emission principle behind these displays which involves scattered reflection from the pixels achieves a viewing angle which is wider than that of CRT (cathode ray tube) displays. Even when viewed from a position off to one side or below the display, details on the screen are readily visible. The visibility makes these displays ideal for use in public spaces.

[4] No screen burning and easy input

The display principle does not require any fluorescent material to be excited by discharged electrons, so even while displaying still picture, there is none of the screen burning that occurs with CRT and PDP (plasma display panels).

The existing common LED displays for electronic notice boards and message boards require exclusive software for content editing and special interfaces for content input. The "CeramBoard" needs no editing software since it displays parts of computer screen directly, and it therefore, allows easy content editing with regular DTP software. With a connection simply using an interface for standard computer monitors, images are instantaneously displayed. Parts of TV screen also can be displayed by connection with video terminals.

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4. Applications

The displays can be flexibly designed in terms of their screen size, aspect ratio, shape, luminance, power consumption and other factors to match precise needs for a broad range of applications.

"CeramVision" large display (60 to 120 inches)
  • Display of advertisements inside the precincts of railway stations, on subway platforms, etc.
  • Main monitors for indoor sports arenas, multi-purpose halls, etc.
  • Store windows of commercial facilities
  • Presentation rooms
  • Special installed monitors for exhibitions, special events, etc.
"CeramBoard" electronic notice board and message board
(Full-color (16.7 million colors) advertisements between information announcements possible)
  • Display of directions/information and notices in railway stations, airports and other public facilities
  • Display of directions/information and notices in underground shopping malls, stores and other commercial facilities
  • Display of directions/information and notices at exhibitions, special events, etc.
  • Display of information provided by stock companies, banking institutions, government and municipal agencies, etc.
  • Line management, supervision and control displays in factories and plants

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CeramVision Picture shown here is a composite image.

Picture shown here is a composite image.

1.Size: 60 inches (diagonal)
2.Resolution: 140,000 pixels (448 x 320)
3.Pixel pitch: 2.8 mm
4.Colors displayed: 16.7 million
5.Weight: 200 kg
6.Thickness: 150 mm
1.5 kW (maximum)
8.Luminance: 300 cd/m2(white throughout the whole screen)
9.Input image signals: RGB, NTSC video
CeramBoard Picture shown here is a composite image.

Picture shown here is a composite image.

1.Size: 1210 mm(W) x 290 mm(H)
2.Resolution: 25,000 pixels (384 x 64)
3.Pixel pitch: 2.8 mm
4.Colors displayed: 16.7 million
5.Weight: 15 kg
6.Thickness: 80 mm
170 W (maximum)
8.Luminance: 200 cd/m2(white throughout the whole screen)
9.Input image signals: RGB, NTSC video
Specifications of small panel Picture shown here is a composite image.

Specifications of small panel
Picture shown here is a composite image.

1.Size: 90 mm x 90 mm
2.Pixel pitch: 2.8 mm
3.Total number of pixels: 1024 (32 x 32)

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