Flat-Panel Displays

CRT monitors have been the dominant PC display technology since PCs were invented, but that is beginning to change. Flat-panel displays (FPDs) are coming on fast. As of June 2002, FPDs still sold in small numbers relative to CRTs in retail channels. But in the distribution channel—those bundled with new PCs—FPDs are expected to claim a 50% market share by September 2002. Considering the high cost and relatively poor image quality of entry-level FPDs—and bundled FPDs are nearly always entry-level models—we are amazed that FPDs have become so popular so quickly.

FPDs are beginning to become standard on high-end corporate systems, although it will likely be several years before FPDs replace CRTs as the standard display on mainstream systems. FPDs are definitely here to stay. The cost and other advantages of CRTs ensure that they’ll remain available for years to come, but the emphasis is definitely shifting in favor of FPDs. Over the next two years, we expect this trend to continue and indeed accelerate.

Flat-Panel Display Characteristics

Here are the important characteristics of FPDs:

Panel type

FPD panels are available in two broad types:

Passive-matrix panels

Passive-matrix panels generally use Super Twisted Nematic (STN) technology. These panels are commonly used on notebook systems, where they provide adequate display quality at a reasonably low price. Only the least expensive desktop flat-panel displays use passive-matrix technology, which should be avoided ...

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