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Touch Display Terminology

all Terminology you need to know about touch monitors

Touch Display Terminology Guide

For making smart choices and ensuring your technology fits your needs, here’s a straightforward guide to the terms you’ll often hear about touch Monitor tech. This guide is crafted to help anyone get to grips with the basics of how touchscreen monitors work. Should you require further assistance or have any inquiries regarding touch screens, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Table of Contents

Absolute White

The state or condition of a display when it is showing the purest form of white possible. This is a color calibration standard for displays.

Achromatic

Refers to a color without hue; essentially black, white, or any gray in between.

Acrylic Plate (PMMA – Polymethyl Methacrylate)

A transparent thermoplastic is often used as a lightweight or shatter-resistant alternative to glass, which can be used in touch displays for protective coverings or insulation.

Active Area

The part of the display that is capable of showing images or responding to touch, is typically measured by the dimensions of the width and height within the bezel.

Active Matrix

A type of addressing scheme used in flat panel displays. In this method, each pixel is attached to a transistor and capacitor actively maintaining the pixel state while other pixels are being addressed.

AD Board (Analog/Digital Board)

A circuit board that contains the analog-to-digital conversion circuitry, typically used to process analog inputs from video signals into digital signals that the display can use.

AF (Anti-Fingerprint)

A coating that reduces the visibility of fingerprints on touch screens.

AG (Anti-Glare)

A coating or treatment to the surface of a display that scatters light to reduce reflections and glare, making the display easier to see under bright conditions.

Air Bonding

A method of attaching the touch sensor to the display where a small air gap remains between the two. This can have an effect on the clarity and the sensitivity of the touch interface.

Alignment Layer

A layer within LCD screens helps to control the direction of liquid crystal alignment which is crucial for proper display function.

AMOLED (Active-Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode)

A display technology where an organic compound emits light in response to an electric current, coupled with an active matrix to control individual pixels.

Amorphous Silicon (a-Si)

A non-crystalline form of silicon used as a semiconductor material for devices such as thin-film transistors (TFTs) in LCD displays.

Annunciator

A display component or panel which indicates the status of a system, commonly using lights or textual indicators.

Anti-Newton Ring

A technology or layer that minimizes the appearance of Newton’s rings, which are interference patterns caused by the reflection of light between two surfaces.

Analog Type

A type of touch screen that recognizes touch via a continuous electrical signal, as opposed to digital touch screens which use discrete on-off signals.

Aperture Ratio

The proportion of the active area that is light-emitting in a display panel. Higher ratios typically mean a brighter display.

AR (Anti-Reflective)

Coating applied to the surface of screens and other optical devices to reduce reflection and increase the transmission of light through the surface.

Array Process

A stage in LCD manufacture where the thin-film transistors and capacitors of the display are formed on the glass substrate.

Aspect Ratio

The ratio of the width to the height of a display screen. Common aspect ratios for screens are 4:3, 16:9, and 16:10.

Backlight

A source of illumination is positioned behind the LCD glass to make the Liquid Crystal Module (LCM) visible in low-light conditions. The majority of modern backlights use LED technology due to its increased efficiency and lower cost compared to older technologies like EL (electroluminescent) and CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light) backlights.

Backplane

This is the common electrode plane in an LCD that provides the necessary voltage to the liquid crystals. In multiplexed displays, there may be multiple backplanes, which help manage the complex addressing of the pixels.

Bezel

A protective frame, typically made of plastic or metal, surrounds the LCD glass. The bezel protects the edges of the glass and serves as a compressive element for the elastomer connector that interfaces the LCD glass with the printed circuit board (PCB).

BGA (Ball Grid Array)

A type of surface-mount packaging used for integrated circuits. BGA enables the attachment of devices with a large number of pins to a PCB. It utilizes an array of solder balls on its underside that melt and bond to the PCB during the soldering process, allowing for a high-density connection.

Blue Negative

A type of STN (Super-Twisted Nematic) display configuration that presents a negative image with a blue background when backlit. This configuration typically inverts the light areas to dark, and dark areas to light, providing a specific aesthetic and visibility in various lighting conditions.

Bottom/Lower Circuit

The bottom or lower circuit refers to the layer in a touch screen device that contains the circuitry for the touch functionality. In resistive touch screens, this circuit is usually on the bottom layer and responds to touch from the upper circuit when pressure is applied. In capacitive screens, it may be composed of a grid of conductive material that interacts with the user’s touch. This circuit is integral to the detection and translation of touch inputs into signals that the device can process.

Bonding

In the context of touch displays, bonding refers to the process of attaching the touch panel or touch sensor to the display module.

CABC (Content Adaptive Backlight Control)

A feature in LCDs where the backlight brightness is dynamically adjusted according to the content displayed. CABC reduces the backlight power for images that do not require full brightness for a white pixel, saving energy without compromising the visual quality of the display.

Candelas (cd/m2)

Also known as ‘nits,’ this is a measure of luminous intensity per unit area, used to describe the brightness of screens. It indicates how much light is emitted by a given area of a light source, visible to the human eye.

CCFL (Cold Cathode Fluorescent Light)

A source of backlighting for LCDs, CCFLs are thin tubes that emit light when an electric current is applied. These have largely been replaced by LED backlights in newer displays.

Cell Gap

The distance between the two glass layers in an LCD that holds the liquid crystal material. The cell gap is critical for controlling the optical properties and the electrical performance of the LCD.

CGRAM (Character Generator RAM)

A reprogrammable memory in a character LCD module that allows for the customization of a limited set of characters, enabling the display of custom graphics or symbols beyond the fixed set provided by the CGROM.

CGROM (Character Generator ROM)

The non-reprogrammable memory that stores the standard character set used by a character LCD. It typically contains various characters and symbols including alphabets and numerals, and sometimes non-Latin characters.

Chromatic

Something that is colored or has a hue, as opposed to achromatic colors like white, black, or shades of gray.

Chromaticity

An aspect of color that includes the hue and saturation but not brightness. It describes the quality of color independent of its luminance.

Chromaticity Diagram, CIE x,y

A graphical representation of colors in two dimensions, where the x and y coordinates are chromaticity values, showing how pure a color is and its dominant wavelength.

COB (Chip-On-Board)

A method where the semiconductor chip is directly mounted onto and interconnected with the printed circuit board, with wire bonds typically encapsulated by epoxy.

COF (Chip-On-Flex)

A technology where the semiconductor device is mounted directly onto a flexible substrate, such as plastic or metal foil, and electrically connected to it.

COG (Chip-On-Glass)

An integrated circuit packaging method where the microchip is directly attached to the glass substrate of the LCD, reducing the size of the display module.

Color Temperature

The measure of the color of light, defined in degrees Kelvin, indicating whether the light appears more red/yellow (warm) or blue (cool).

Column Driver

An electronic component that controls the voltage applied to columns of pixels in an LCD, affecting how the liquid crystals align and modulate light.

Common/Backplane

The electrode plane that is common across the entire display and works in conjunction with segment electrodes to activate the pixels.

Contact Edge

The part of an LCD glass that has conductive paths where the electrical connections to the display are made.

Contrast Ratio

The ratio of the luminosity of the brightest color (white) to that of the darkest color (black) that the system is capable of producing.

Cross-talk

An undesired effect where a signal transmitted on one pixel or wire creates an undesired effect in another pixel or wire, often visible as blurring or ghosting.

CSP (Chip Scale Package)

A type of integrated circuit packaging that is only slightly larger than the chip itself, allowing for high-density placement on printed circuit boards.

CSTN (Color Super-Twist Nematic)

An older type of LCD technology that uses a passive matrix and color filters to produce color images. It is slower and less sharp than active matrix displays.

CTP (Capacitive Touch Panel)

A touchscreen technology that detects touch by measuring changes in capacitance caused by the proximity or contact of a conductive object, usually a finger.

Cursor

A visual indicator used to show the current position for user interaction on devices with a graphical user interface.

Copper Foil

A thin sheet of copper used in the construction of printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other electronic applications. In the context of touch displays and screen technologies, copper foil can be utilized as part of the conductive layers within flexible printed circuits (FPCs) that connect various components of the display, such as the touch sensor or the display elements, to the rest of the device’s electronics.

Connector

A component that connects electrical circuits together. In touch displays, connectors are used to attach the display module to the device’s mainboard or to other peripheral components. They can range from simple pin connectors to more complex multi-pin data connectors like those used for ribbon cables in LCDs or OLEDs. Connectors are crucial for ensuring reliable communication and power transfer between the display components and the device’s processing units.

Chemically Strengthened Glass

A type of glass that has been treated with a chemical process to increase its strength and durability. This process typically involves a potassium ion exchange method where sodium ions in the glass surface are replaced with larger potassium ions from a chemical bath. This exchange creates a state of compression on the surface of the glass, making it much tougher and more resistant to scratches and breakage than untreated glass. This kind of glass is often used in touch screen devices, including industrial touch displays, because of its enhanced durability and resistance to damage in demanding environments.

Cold Solder

A term used in electronics manufacturing to describe a solder joint that has not been properly heated and as a result, does not make a good electrical connection. Cold solder joints are often characterized by a dull, grainy, or rough appearance, as opposed to the shiny, smooth finish seen on a well-made solder joint. They can lead to faulty connections and may cause intermittent or permanent failures in electrical circuits, including those in touch displays and panel PCs. To ensure high-quality and reliable products, it is crucial to avoid cold solder joints during the manufacturing process of touch screens and related electronic components.

DC-DC Converter

A DC-to-DC converter is an electronic circuit or device that converts Direct Current (DC) electrical power from one voltage level to another. It’s a type of power converter and plays a vital role in portable electronics, where they adapt the voltage from a battery to the needs of various components within the device. As battery voltage can decrease over time, DC-to-DC converters can boost (step-up) or lower (step-down) the voltage to ensure consistent power supply to the device’s components.

DDRAM (Display Data RAM)

Display Data RAM stores the character data on an LCD module. In a character LCD, such as a 20×2 display, DDRAM would have the capacity to hold 40 characters. The stored ASCII values in the DDRAM correspond to the character bitmaps in the CGROM or CGRAM, which are then displayed on the screen.

DIL Pins (Dual in Line Pins)

Dual In Line Pins are used to connect an electronic component, such as an LCD module, to a circuit board. The pins are arranged in two parallel rows and soldered to provide electrical connection and mechanical support.

Diffuser

A diffuser is a translucent piece placed in LCDs to evenly distribute light from the backlighting source, ensuring consistent illumination across the display surface.

Direct Drive

Direct Drive indicates a display design where each segment or pixel is individually connected to a power source or control circuit, allowing for precise control.

DITO/SITO (Double-Sided or Single-Sided Indium Tin Oxide)

DITO or SITO refers to a manufacturing technique for touch panels that uses Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) on one or both sides of a substrate. These are techniques used to create thin, conductive layers necessary for capacitive touchscreens.

Dot/Pixel

A dot or pixel is the smallest visual element in a display that can be controlled to show a particular color or shade in the formation of images.

Dot Matrix

Dot Matrix refers to a two-dimensional pattern of dots that can create characters, symbols, or images on a display, commonly used in LCDs for character and graphical representations.

Duty Ratio

Duty Ratio describes the ratio of the active (on) time to the total time period of a signal in a multiplexed display. It’s represented as 1/N, where N is the number of segments activated by one complete cycle.

EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference)

A disruption that impacts electrical circuits due to electromagnetic induction or radiation from an external source. This disturbance can lead to a degradation of data or a complete loss of data.

ESD (Electro Static Discharge)

A sudden flow of electricity between two electrically charged objects caused by contact, an electrical short, or dielectric breakdown. ESD can cause damage to sensitive electronic devices and can lead to failures of solid-state electronics components such as integrated circuits.

EVE (Embedded Video Engine)

A graphics controller that simplifies the interface and control of display, touch, backlight, and audio features in embedded systems. It uses SPI protocol for communication and features design tools and enhanced graphical processing for quality visuals.

EL (Electroluminescence)

An optical and electrical phenomenon where a material emits light when subjected to an electric current or a strong electric field. Often used in display backlighting.

Elastomer Connector

A silicone rubber strip consisting of conductive and non-conductive layers used to connect an LCD to a circuit board, allowing for flexibility and reliability in the connection.

Electrophoresis

A phenomenon that occurs when excess DC voltage is applied to an LCD, causing conductive particles to transfer from one glass surface to another, creating a short circuit.

ELP (Electroluminescence Panel)

A type of display technology that utilizes the electroluminescence phenomenon for illuminating displays.

FET (Field Effect Transistor)

FETs are semiconductor devices that control current using an electric field and are known for their high efficiency and rapid switching capabilities.

FFC (Flat Flexible Cable)

A form of electrical cable that is thin, flat, and flexible, often used in high-density electronic applications to save space and allow for flexible connections.

Fill Hole

A component of the LCD manufacturing process; it is an opening through which liquid crystal material is injected into the display assembly.

First Minimum

A technique in LCD construction aimed at optimizing cell geometry to enhance contrast and viewing angles for better display performance.

Font

In the context of displays, a font refers to a set of characters in a particular style and size used for the information displayed.

Foot Lamberts (fL)

A unit of luminance commonly used in the field of photometry; it is equivalent to 1/π candela per square foot, used to describe the ‘brightness’ of a screen.

FPC (Flexible Printed Circuit)

A type of electronic circuit that is mounted on flexible plastic substrates, used in applications where the assembly may need to flex or conform to a particular shape.

FSTN (Film-compensated Super Twisted Nematic)

A type of LCD that includes a compensation film to improve the quality of the display, such as enhancing visual clarity and contrast.

Gamma

Gamma refers to the relationship between the input video signal and the luminance output of the screen. It’s a nonlinear operation where the screen output luminance is proportional to the video voltage raised to the power of the gamma value.

Gate Electrode

In an active matrix LCD, the gate electrode is synonymous with the “row” electrode. It controls the application of voltage to individual sub-pixels in the matrix, acting as a switch.

GF/GFF/GG

These terms refer to various types of capacitive touchscreen technologies:

  • GG (Glass-Glass): This structure has both X and Y-axis sensing electrodes on two layers of glass. It is used in devices like the iPhone.
  • GF (Glass-Film)/GFF (Glass-Film-Film): These touchscreens use a glass layer for one axis and a film layer for the other. They are cost-effective and suitable for small batch production.
Ghosting

Ghosting occurs when a voltage meant for an activated (ON) element in a display leaks to an adjacent element that should be off (OFF), causing it to turn on partially and create a blurry or “ghost” image.

Grey Scale

Grayscale represents a spectrum of shades from black to white, without color. It is achieved by varying the brightness levels of the primary colors (red, green, and blue) in equal measure for display screens, or by mixing primary pigments for printed materials.

Ghost Touch

This is when a touchscreen registers input when there is none, like it’s being touched by an invisible force. Causes can include hardware damage, software problems, or interference. Fixing it usually requires checking and correcting both the screen’s physical components and its software.

HC Coating

Refers to a hard coating, usually applied to touch screens and display surfaces to protect against scratches and other damage.

HDMI (High-Definition Multimedia Interface)

A technology standard for transferring high-definition audio and video data from an HDMI-compliant source to a compatible computer monitor, video projector, digital television, or digital audio device. HDMI is a digital replacement for analog video standards.

Heat Seal

A type of connector that uses heat to bond a flexible adhesive to the contact edge of an LCD, ensuring a secure electrical connection.

Hue

 A quality of color that distinguishes one variety from another, perceived as red, green, blue, etc., which is dependent on the dominant wavelength of light.

I2C or IIC (Inter-Integrated Circuit)

 I2C is a communication protocol that enables multiple chips to communicate with each other via a bus that only requires two data lines: a serial data line (SDA) and a serial clock line (SCL). It’s widely used for attaching peripherals to processors and microcontrollers in short-distance, intra-board communication.

In-Cell Technology

This integrates the touch sensor layer into the LCD cell, eliminating the need for a separate touch panel layer. The result is a thinner and lighter display, which can contribute to a slimmer device design.

Ink Overlay

A manufacturing process where colored inks are applied to the display to create visible elements like buttons or icons, which are typically non-interactive.

Interconnect Dot

A dot made of silver-loaded epoxy used to connect the conductive traces of a display’s conductive layer to the device’s electronic circuits.

Inverter, DC to AC

A device that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC), used to power the backlight of a display.

IPS (In-Plane Switching)

A display technology for liquid crystal displays (LCDs). IPS panels are known for their wide viewing angles and good color reproduction compared to other types of LCD technologies.

Isotropic Stage

In the context of LCDs, this refers to the temperature at which the liquid crystal substance no longer maintains its ordered structure and the display loses its ability to control light passing through, which means the display would appear black.

ITO (Indium Tin Oxide)

A conductive and transparent material used for touch screens and LCDs. It’s chosen for its electrical conductivity and optical transparency, critical for touch recognition and display clarity.

Landscape

This term refers to the orientation of a display or page that is wider than it is tall, as opposed to portrait orientation, which is taller than it is wide.

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

An LCD is a display made up of liquid crystals sandwiched between two glass plates. Applying an electrical voltage to these crystals changes their orientation, which affects the light’s polarization and the image displayed.

LCM (LCD Module)

An LCM is a complete display assembly that includes the LCD panel, a printed circuit board (PCB) with driver circuitry, a bezel (frame), and sometimes a backlight for illumination.

Leads

These are the metallic conductive paths on the edge of an LCD glass that connect to the driver electronics, enabling control over the display.

LED (Light-Emitting Diode)

An LED is a semiconductor device that emits light when an electrical current passes through it. The color of the light depends on the semiconductor material used, which determines the energy band gap.

LED Driving

The process of powering LEDs in a manner that maintains consistent brightness and extends their lifetime. This is often done using a constant-current power supply, which can be designed to include features like PWM dimming and over-voltage protection.

Liquid Crystal Fluid

This is the substance in an LCD that exhibits properties of both liquids (flowing under pressure) and crystals (anisotropy of properties), crucial for its ability to modulate light.

Luminance

Luminance is the measure of the amount of light emitted or reflected from a surface, typically measured in candelas per square meter (cd/m^2) or foot-lamberts (fL). It’s an important specification for displays, indicating how bright they can appear.

Multiplex (Mux)

 Multiplexing is a technique that facilitates the combination of multiple signals over a single data link. In display technology, multiplexing allows for the control of multiple segments of a display using fewer I/O (Input/Output) lines by switching between them rapidly.

Nit

A nit is a unit of luminance that is used to describe the brightness of a display. 1 nit = 1 cd/m² (candelas per square meter).

Normally Black

A “Normally Black” display is designed such that in its default state, without an electric current, the liquid crystals align in a way that blocks the backlight and makes the screen appear black.

Normally White

 Conversely, a “Normally White” display is designed to be transparent in its default state, allowing the backlight to pass through and making the screen appear white when no voltage is applied.

OCA (Optically Clear Adhesive)

OCA is used to laminate layers together in devices, such as bonding a touch panel to an LCD. It eliminates the air gap between the two, which enhances viewing quality and durability.

OCR (Optically Clear Resin)

OCR, similar to OCA, is used in optical bonding for surfaces that are not flat, where a liquid bonding technique is necessary.

OGS (One Glass Solution)

OGS technology reduces the thickness of touchscreen devices by integrating the touch sensor onto the cover lens, eliminating one layer of glass.

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode)

OLED is a display technology that consists of organic material layers that emit light when electricity is applied. They can be of two types: Passive Matrix (PMOLED) or Active Matrix (AMOLED).

On Cell

On-Cell Touch technology integrates the touch sensor directly into the LCD panel. It improves optical clarity, reduces power consumption, and enhances the touch interface by reducing the layers.

Optical Bonding

Optical bonding is a process where the touch panel and display are bonded with an optically clear adhesive, which removes the air gaps, enhances durability, and improves readability in various lighting conditions, including direct sunlight. 

PCAP (Projected Capacitive Touch Panel) / PCT (Projected Capacitive Touch Panel)

PCAP, also referred to as PCT, is a touch technology widely used in modern touch screens. It works on the principle of capacitance. Electrodes placed at the corners of the screen set up an electrostatic field across the surface. When a finger or conductive stylus interrupts the field, the touch panel controller registers the change in capacitance and calculates the touch point.

PCB (Printed Circuit Board)

A PCB is the backbone of electronic devices, providing a platform for mounting components and establishing electrical connections between them via conductive tracks, pads, and other features. They can range from simple, single-layer boards for basic devices to complex, multi-layer boards for sophisticated electronics.

PCBA (Printed Circuit Board Assembly)

This term applies to the PCB after components have been soldered onto it. The assembly process can be manual or automated, depending on the complexity and volume of the boards being produced. PCBA is critical in ensuring the functionality and reliability of the finished electronic product.

PCN (Product Change Notification)

Manufacturers issue PCNs to inform stakeholders of changes to a product or its manufacturing process. This can include changes in materials, specifications, or even discontinuation notices. For procurement officers and product managers, PCNs are vital for managing inventory, planning for product transitions, and ensuring compatibility with existing systems.

Pitch

In electronics, pitch refers to the distance between the center of one conductor or component to the center of the next. It’s a critical measurement in the design of PCBs and touch panels, as it affects both the density of the components and the sensitivity of touch panels.

Pixel

A pixel, or dot, is the smallest unit of a digital image or display. In LCDs and touch screens, each pixel consists of sub-pixels that control the display’s color and brightness.

PMOLED (Passive Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode)

PMOLED displays are controlled by a simple grid of electrodes without any active matrix and are used in applications where the screen size is smaller, power consumption is less critical, or where cost is a significant consideration.

Polarizer

Polarizers are optical filters found in LCDs that only allow light of a specific polarization to pass through. They are critical for the control of light in LCD screens, influencing the display’s visibility and readability under various lighting conditions.

Portrait

This refers to a vertical screen or page orientation, which is commonly used for mobile phones, tablets, and public information displays when the height is greater than the width.

Positive Image

This term describes a type of LCD display that shows dark characters or graphics on a light background, a common choice for readability in various lighting conditions, especially for devices like industrial touch screen monitors where clarity and contrast are important.

PET

PET stands for Polyethylene Terephthalate, a type of plastic often used in the production of consumer goods. In the context of touch screens and displays, PET films are commonly used as cover layers for screens, as part of touch sensors, or as substrate material in flexible displays. Its properties include good transparency, excellent dimensional stability, high tensile strength, and resistance to impact, which makes it ideal for protective films in touch screen applications.

PC

PC can stand for Polycarbonate, a durable and transparent thermoplastic. It’s known for its high impact resistance and is often used for the front panels of industrial touch screen monitors due to its strength. Polycarbonate can withstand significant force without cracking or breaking, which is why it’s chosen for products that require ruggedness.

RAM (Random Access Memory)

This is the type of memory that can be written to some value, then later read. RAM is the normal memory in a computer system. It only holds data when powered; if power is interrupted, the data stored in the RAM is lost.

Reflective

 This term refers to a type of display that uses ambient or other front lighting to illuminate the screen, rather than relying on backlights.

Refresh Rate

The frequency at which the screen is refreshed or redrawn, typically measured in Hertz (Hz), which is equivalent to cycles per second. A common refresh rate is 60 Hz, meaning the display is refreshed 60 times per second.

Reliability

 In the context of displays and electronics, reliability refers to the ability of a component or system to perform its required functions under stated conditions for a specified period of time.

ROM (Read Only Memory)

This type of memory is pre-programmed from the factory to hold specific data. ROM can be read but not written to or altered.

RTP (Resistive Touch Panel)

 A resistive touch screen panel is composed of two transparent layers separated by an air gap. These layers can conduct electricity due to a coating of Indium Tin Oxide (ITO). When a user applies pressure, the layers connect at a specific point, allowing a small current to flow which sensors detect to determine the touch location.

Rubbing Process

This is a technique used in the manufacturing of LCDs where the alignment layer on the substrate is physically rubbed in a specific direction. This action aligns the liquid crystal molecules to be parallel with the rubbing direction, which is crucial for proper display operation.

Saturation Voltage

This typically refers to the voltage level at which a device in an electronic circuit, such as a transistor, becomes fully conductive. In the context of liquid crystal displays (LCDs), this would relate to the RMS (Root Mean Square) voltage required to turn the liquid crystal fluid to 90% on. It’s a critical parameter that influences the overall brightness and quality of the display when activated.

Segment

A segment in the context of display technology is an active element that forms part of a character on a display. Most commonly, this is seen in 7-segment displays for numerics where each number is constructed from seven individual line segments, or 14-segment displays for alphanumeric characters, which can display letters as well as numbers.

SIL (Single-In-Line)

An SIL or Single-In-Line package has a single row of connection terminals. It’s often used for LCD modules where the connection to the control electronics is made through a single line of pins or contact points.

SMT (Surface-mount technology)

Surface-Mount Technology (SMT) is the predominant method of constructing electronic circuits in which the components are mounted directly onto the surface of printed circuit boards (PCBs). An electronic device made in this way is called a Surface-Mount Device (SMD). SMT components are typically smaller because they have smaller leads or sometimes no leads at all.

SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface)

SPI is a communication protocol used to transfer data between microcontrollers and small peripherals such as sensors, SD cards, and LCD displays. It’s a synchronous serial data link standard and is used for short-distance communication, primarily in embedded systems. The terms like SCK (Serial Clock), MOSI (Master Out Slave In), MISO (Master In Slave Out), and SS (Slave Select) are associated with the SPI protocol indicating the pinout and functionality for SPI communication.

Static Drive

Static drive, also known as direct drive, refers to a method of driving LCD segments without multiplexing. Each segment is controlled by a dedicated static voltage; hence the term “static.”

STN (Super Twisted Nematic)

Super Twisted Nematic (STN) technology is a type of passive matrix LCD technology. It offers better passive matrix addressing than the traditional TN (Twisted Nematic) displays and is commonly used in environments where low power consumption and cost are critical.

Sub-Pixel

A sub-pixel is one of the three components that make up a pixel on a color display screen. Each sub-pixel is associated with red, green, or blue color filters. By controlling the intensity of each sub-pixel, a wide range of colors can be produced.

TAB (Tape Automated Bonding)

TAB is a process that connects a die or chip to a substrate using a thin piece of tape that is pre-printed with conductive traces. It’s often used in the packaging of LCDs and other flat-panel displays as well as in various electronic components.

TFT (Thin Film Transistor)

Thin Film Transistor technology involves the use of transistors for each pixel on the display. TFTs are a type of LCD flat-panel display screen in which each pixel is controlled by one to four transistors. The TFT technology provides the best resolution of all the flat-panel techniques, but it is also the most expensive.

Threshold Voltage

Threshold voltage is the minimum RMS voltage at which the liquid crystal molecules start to reorient and the display starts to turn “on”. This is typically around 10% of the maximum optical response of the device.

Transflective

This is a term for LCDs that are designed to be used in both direct sunlight or in backlit mode. They contain a reflective layer that reflects ambient light passing through the LCD back through it to enhance visibility in bright conditions.

Transmissive

Transmissive LCDs are those that only use backlighting to display images. They do not reflect ambient light and thus require an external light source for visibility.

TN (Twisted Nematic)

Twisted Nematic is a common type of LCD that consists of liquid crystals twisted at 90 degrees from top to bottom layers. When voltage is applied, the crystals align to allow varying levels of light to pass through, creating the image.

USB (Universal Serial Bus)

USB is a ubiquitous connection standard for computers and electronic devices. It is used for data transfer, device communication, and power supply.

VA (Vertical Alignment displays)

Vertical Alignment is a type of LCD technology that offers high contrast ratios, deep blacks, and a wide viewing angle. It operates by aligning the liquid crystals in a vertical position when no voltage is applied, resulting in a black screen.

Viewing Angle

The viewing angle is the maximum angle at which a display can be viewed with acceptable visual performance. It’s a critical specification for screens where the display needs to be visible from different angles.

Viewing Area

This refers to the part of the LCD that is visible to the user, excluding the area covered by the bezel or casing of the display.

ZIF (Zero Insertion Force)

ZIF connectors are designed for ease of use when connecting flat flexible cables (FFC) or flexible printed circuits (FPC). They typically include a lever or slider that, when moved, allows the cable to be inserted or removed with very little force.

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