A New Galaxy in the Land of Tablets

A key theme at this year’s FPD International/Green Devices 2010 show was touchpanel applications for mobile devices. These shows areincredible because they are the first place to see new and excitingdevices—and to actually hold and demo upcoming ‘hot’ devices.

As I worked my way down to the Samsung Mobile Devices booth, a large group had gathered to play with the eagerly awaited Samsung Galaxy Tab.

All I can say is, it’s pretty cool. The color screen is extremely crisp and vivid (illuminated by the latest in LED backlighting). Also, itfeatures email, music and video playback, social networking, photoviewing and web browsing applications, all using the Google Androidoperating system.

Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, with its 7” screen, is a truly mobile tablet that can be operated on the run with one hand.

The tablet race is on, and the result is a growing touchpanel market enabled by Applied Materials. The IT research firm Gartner reports projected worldwide tablet sales for 2014 will be 208 million units up from 19.5 million units in 2010.

The growing popularity of the touchpanel technology was evident by theinterest in Applied Materials’ Tom Takeoka’s presentation – AppliedMaterials’ Touch Panel Solutions – which turned out to be the bestattended presentation of the day.

Let me briefly explain howtouchpanel technology works (a bit of a deep dive, but stay with me,it’s totally worth it so you can whoa your friends). Touch screentechnology can be resistive or capacitive. A capacitive touchscreenpanel consists of an insulator such as glass, coated with a transparentconductor such as indium tin oxide (ITO). Since humans are alsoconductors, when we touch the screen surface it results in a distortionof the screen’s electrostatic field, measured by a change incapacitance. An X-Y axis is used to determine the location of the touch. The location is then sent to the controller for processing.

Applied Materials’ equipment solutions for touchpanel applications includesemiconductor equipment for production of Controller IC’s; AKT’s New Aristo achieves the lowest resistance utilizing dynamic in-line sputtering for the ITO layer.

The Smart Web enables flex touch applications for ITO and SiO2 in roll-to-roll withhigh productivity, superior process stability and control (requirementsfor all those high volume market demands for these fun devices).

The AKT PECVD systems are the market leaders providing superior film quality for the active matrix backplane.

To learn more in depth details about our product line-up visit our web site.

Stay tuned, as I continue to provide recaps on this year’s FPD International show.

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