Free-form touch displays adapt to functions

Free-form touch displays adapt to functions

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The touch display has largely established itself as an intuitive interface for electronics, but not every display has to be rectangular. Tianma (Shenzhen, China) has developed prototype displays and process technologies allowing developers and designers to create more ergonomically shaped products.
By Rich Pell


One example of an unconventionally shaped display developed by Tianma is a round display 12.7cm in diameter with a hole in the middle, with individually embedded gate drivers to create a Virtual Gate Inline Pixel Array (VGIA). To meet customer demand for free-form displays, Tianma has solved several problems in the manufacturing process.

Laser-assisted material processing offers the possibility of high-precision cuts in the 100 micrometer range. For example, very fine holes can be created by gentle laser ablation. This production technique enables classic and analog clock hands in combination with a background display.

Applications include “smart” wristwatches and cockpit instruments in the automotive sector. The display has an extremely slim concentric edge of 3mm, thanks to the use of a special oxide semiconductor material as active TFT backplane, which offers much higher electron mobility compared to conventional amorphous silicon.

Smaller pixel structures, as well as more compact, transparent driver circuits, can be generated while maintaining the same level of current. The latter can be housed in the edge of the screen to save space or even arranged within the active display area. Equipped with capacitive touch sensors, the display is only 2.1mm thick, it has a resolution of 1080×1080 pixels with a contrast ratio of 1,000,000:1.

Tianma Europe –

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