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Glossary of Liquid Crystal Display Terminology

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Term Meaning
Active Area Area (L x H) of the LCD that has active segments.
Annunciator A word or special symbol which is driven as a single segment
Array Process Method of manufacturing whereby displays are arranged in rows and columns on a large laminate- and separated after they are filled with LCD fluid.
Backplane The common electrode connection. There can be multiple backplanes in a multiplexed display.
Blue Negative Display configuration of a backlit negative image STN display
CCFL Cold Cathode Florescent Lamp
COG Chip on Glass construction process
COT Chip on Tab construction process
Common Plane See Backplane
Contact Ledge The area along the edge of the parts where electrical connections are made.
Contrast Ratio The ratio of the luminance between the dark and light areas of the display.
CSTN Color STN Color STN Technology. Each pixel of a CSTN display is actually 3 separate colored pixels of Red / Green / Blue. Each of those colors are controlled individually by the graphic controller chip. So in actually; a 320 by 240 pixel CSTN display actually contains 960 by 240 individually colored pixels
Dual in Line Pins (DIL) Two rows of pins attached along parallel sides of a display.
Diffuser Translucent material used for light diffusion placed between backlight lighting sources and the back side of an LCD. This material will create a more uniform backlight for an LCD from several unique sources of light.
Direct Drive A method of driving a display whereby individual segments are driven from separate edge connections.
Elastomeric Connectors A thin conductive material used to make connections between an LCD and a PC board.
ELED Edge Lit LED backlight configuration
ELP Electroluminescence Panel
First Minimum An LCD construction technique where the cell geometry is optimized for maximum contrast and viewing angle. The geometry is different for each LCD fluid.
Font The style of a letter or digit.
FSTN Film compensated STN STN Technology with the addition of a retardation film to the display that compensates for the color added by the birefringence effect. This allows a black and white display to be produced and provides for a higher contrast and wider viewing angle.
Ghosting A condition where segments which are in the"off" condition become slightly visible.
Heat Seal Cable A thin flexible cable used to connect the LCD to the PC board which is bonded by heat cured adhesive at each end..
Image Area The total area bounded by the display characters
Ink Overlay The process of applying opaque- colored inks to the display to provide colors- or highlight certain areas of annunciators.
LCD Liquid Crystal Display
Liquid Crystal Fluid An organic material which has both liquid and crystalline properties.
LCD Module An LCD which includes a PCB- driver electronics- bezel- and possibly a backlight.
Multiplex (Mux) A method of driving a display whereby multiple segments are driven from the same edge connection.
Negative Image A display which has a dark background and lighter active segments- i.e. clear characters on a black background
Pixel An individual active segment
Polarizer A stretched polymer which transmits light in only one axis. A typical display has polarizers on the front and back.
Positive Image A display which has a light background and darker active segments- i.e. black characters on a silver background.
Reflective A viewing mode which uses ambient or other front lighting to provide the illumination for the display.
Segment An active area within the display which can be turned on and off. This can be a single segment of a 7-segment character- an annunciator- or a pixel in a dot matrix array.
Static Drive See Direct Drive
STN Super Twisted Nematic A type of display which uses fluids which"twist" greater than 90o. An STN display has improved viewing angles and contrast at high multiplex rates
Transflective A viewing mode which can use ambient light or backlighting to provide the illumination for the display.
Transmissive A viewing mode which cannot use any type of front lighting to provide the illumination for the display- it therefore must use a backlight
TN Twisted Nematic Twisted Nematic A type of display where the liquid crystal fluid rotates the plane of polarization 90o.
Viewing Area The area of a display which is visible through a bezel or cut-out in an instrument. This area is made up of the"Active Area" and the boarder around the active area.
Viewing Angle The preferred angle of viewing a display- usually described in comparison to a clock face- i.e. 12 o'clock for above the normal- or 6 o'clock for below the normal.
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