Fresh Choices in Graphic Display Technology

By Robert Cong

Not Your Average Graphic Display

New digital display products that are clearer, brighter and simpler to interface make displaying your information a snap. Find out how you can save on power costs, which displays have higher contrast, are faster, and easier to set-up - all to get your message across better!

To find out which types of displays are best for your design, check out the details on three different display technologies: TFT (Thin-Film Transistor), LCD (Liquid Crystal Displays), and OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode).

LCD Module
Character LCD Module with Built-In Controller

LCD technology is the most economical way to display messages. There are both serial and parallel data interface for LCD displays. Most of the LCD displays that Jameco carries are great for your practical applications that require simple text messages, although a few have graphic capabilities as well. If price is the primary consideration and the display quality is not a critical element of the overall design, an LCD display is the best way to go.

TFT displays are a type of LCD that uses thin-film transistor technology, which provides for much improved contrast and image quality. While these modules will cost a bit more than the LCD offering, Jameco's TFT modules are backlit with white LEDs for high brightness, use less power and boast a wider viewing angle. The viewing angle is important to see the images clearly even when you're not in direct line of sight with the module. You can use these displays for much more than just relaying messages. These displays show bold colors and incredible images at a resolution of up to 640 x 480 pixels. They look so good, you might even want to place them around the house as decoration!

Touch Panel TFT Liquid Crystal Display Module
Touch Panel TFT Liquid Crystal Display Module

If the display is a critical part of your design, you'll want to consider using the brightest screen option: organic LED displays. OLED displays are made up of organic compounds, which allow for incredibly high contrast ratios without the need of a backlight. These displays also have the highest viewing angles at up to 160 degrees and faster response times for quality transitions. These details will provide some of the brightest visuals possible on a display screen. Adding to the advantages of OLED technology, they are also much lighter in weight and have a higher power efficiency due to the OLED's ability to not consume any power when inactive. Many of Jameco's OLED displays also have both serial and parallel interface, so you can send data through either bus. OLED technology is still relatively new compared to other display types, so it is usually more expensive, but it is definitely worth considering when looking for a new display.

Display screens are everywhere. How many display screens do you look at before your day even begins? The alarm clock, yourcell phone, the coffeemaker, television, computer, GPS navigation, mp3 player, and who knows how many others. The fact is that a nice, clear display screen is something we depend on every day. We need them to tell us where to go, what time it is, and so much more. Whether it's organic LED, thin-film transistor, or liquid crystal displays, check out the entire line of displays at and discover how you can make information even more accessible in your daily life.

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Robert is a graduate from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in Electrical Engineering. His interests include sports, movies, music, and playing with cool, new gadgets.