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ADVANCED VACUUM FLOURESCENT DISPLAY TECHNOLOGY PRODUCES DISPLAYS WITH INCREASED FUNCTIONALITY, LOWER COSTS AND A COMPACT DESIGN
ecause of the recent explosion in the availability of new color LCD modules in response to inter national demand for better notebook computer displays, the vacuum fluorescent option is often overlooked by engineers designing with flat panel displays. The inherent readability advantages of vacuum fluorescent display (VFD) modules, however, together with recent technology advances that have increased selection and lowered prices make VFDs the best flat panel display solution for many applications. Today VFDs are used in a wide range of industrial, automotive, medical, as well as audio and other consumer electronics.
Noritake, Co, Inc. has announced the BD graphics series of vacuum fluorescent displays. vacuum fluorescent displaysThe advantages of vacuum fluorescent technology with its self-emitting light source are fundamental. VFDs are brighter and easier to read from any angle than other displays, according to the company. The new slim chips, hidden in the glass envelope, enable chip-in-glass displays to be smaller, more functional and less expensive. In addition, the results of Noritake’s CIG technology are displays that are brighter, longer lasting and require less power than conventional VFDs.
Vacuum fluorescent displays are experiencing new technical demands from the market. Engineers, faced with an ever increasing variety of electronic devices, demand smaller, lighter VFDs that consume less energy. The BD series, despite their use of CIG formats, offer package sizes equivalent or smaller than those of conventional VFDs. The BD series does not require the chip-mounting space required in conventional ClGs. Incorporating dense drivers, the BD series also expands the possibility of using static drives to display patterns – a difficult task for conventional VFDs. CIG devices normally require extra space for mounting drivers. As a result, the VFD main unit has larger external dimensions than regular VFDs.To solve this problem, Noritake developed a slim driver chips exclusively for the BD series, allowing the driver to be installed under a frame supporting the filament. This technique makes the BD series ClGs more compact than conventional ClGs.
BD series VFDs are equal in size or smaller than conventional VFDs The number of lead pins limits the degree to which conventional VFDs can be reduced in size. The BD series uses fewer lead pins, and can therefore achieve smaller sizes. It is difficult for conventional VFDs to use static drives to display complex patterns having numerous segments due to the need for raising the lead pin total. The BD series allows installation of several internal dense drives, permitting the use of static drives even for complex display patterns.
The combination of BD series technology with thin film, fine wiring techniques makes the BD series ClG’s compatible with graphic display applications. Graphic VFDs using CUG techniques can substantially reduce the number of lead pins, making VFD mounting significantly easier. Additionally, BD series technology assures low voltage driving, low energy consumption and improved luminance.
The main feature of CIG design is the elimination of special, external drivers making the BD series especially attractive for portable electronics and applications where low energy consumption is a must.
Noritake also offers the Display API library. This portable C language library of routines provides an application programming interface (API) for user application. The primary purpose of this library is to provide this company’s customers with a portable library to allow them to use these VFD displays in their products with a minimum of effort.
Founded in 1904 Noritake began as a manufacturer of quality dinnerware. Over the years, in order to maintain its rigorous production standards, the company developed machinery and technology needed to achieve its goal of making the finest china and crystal available. Separate Noritake divisions now distribute many of these industrial products, including grinding wheels industrial ceramics. kilns and electronic components.
Today more than nine thousand employees world-wide manufacture and market a vast array of consumer and industrial products under the same exacting quality philosophy established ninety-six years ago.
The precision printing of noble metals and advanced decorating technologies placed Noritake in a unique position to develop sophisticated electronic products including vacuum fluorescent displays (VFD), printed thick film ceramic circuit substrates, plasma display panels, and custom ceramics for industrial and medical applications. The rapid growth of these categories has placed Noritake squarely in the forefront of international suppliers of the company’s core industrial lines. Going forward into year 2000, as a key ISO 9001 certified manufacturer of VFD and other components, Noritake is poised for continued growth and technological advancement.
vacuum fluorescent displaysNoritake’s new BD graphics series
New slim driver chips, hidden in the glass envelope, enable chip-in-glass displays to be smaller, more functional and less expensive. In addition, the results of Noritake’s CIG technology are displays that are brighter, longer lasting and require less power than conventional VFDs.
Vacuum fluorescent displays are experiencing new technical demands from the market. Engineers, faced with an ever-increasing variety of electronic devices, demand smaller, lighter VFDs that consume less energy. They also require displays with longer service life and enhanced luminosity.
To meet these demands, Noritake has developed its BD series of chip-in glass VFDs. Despite their use of CIG formats, the models in the BD series feature package sizes equivalent or smaller than those of conventional VFDs. The number of lead pins limits the degree to which conventional VFDs can be reduced in size. Noritake’s BD series uses fewer lead pins, and can therefore achieve smaller sizes.
Noritake’s U-Version modules make it easy to replace hard-to-read LCD modules. U-Version VFDs are drop-in replacements which have higher brightness, wider viewing angles and wider temperature ranges than LCDs.
Advances in Chip-in-Glass technology provide VFD graphics modules increased function, lower cost and a more compact design.
Fig 1. Structural Schema of BD VFD
New BD 800 Series Graphics Modules now available from Noritake
|Part Number||# of Dots||# of
W x H (mm)
W x H (mm)
(All Dots On)
|GU128x32-800||128 x 32||4 x 21||0.65 x 0.65||0.5 x 0.5||83.05 x
|130 x 38.5||5 / 450||16|
|GU128x64-800||128 x 64||8 x 21||0.65 x 0.65||0.5 x 0.5||83.05 x
|140 x 68||5 / 750||16|
|GU160x16-800||160 x 16||2 x 26||0.65 x 0.65||0.50 x 0.75||103.85
|154 x 39||5 / 400||16|
|GU160x32-800||160 x 32||4 x 26||0.635 x
|154 x 45||5 / 550||16|
|GU192x16-800||192 x 16||2 x 32||0.75 x 0.75||0.55 x 0.55||143.8 x
|200 x 33.5||5 / 450||16|
|GU256x32-800||256 x 32||4 x 42||0.65 x 0.65||0.5 x 0.5||166.25
|220 x 50||5 / 750||16|
Introducing The Noritake Tech Center
The Noritake Company, an established Japanese firm almost 100 years old, for the first time has established a group of engineers in Arlington Heights, Illinois to design VFD products in the United States. The purpose is to provide a quicker response to the market needs for customers in North America. A substantial proportion of Noritake’s business is generated from markets in the Far East but the display market in North America very often has specific design requirements that are different than those demanded in the Pacific Rim. Noritake wishes to address design issues in a more timely and economical fashion than was formerly possible.
Introducing Noritake’s Display API Library
The Noritake Display API library is a portable C language library of routines which will provide an application programming interface (API) to a user application. This API will allow the user application to call functions to perform useful graphics operations, such as “draw a line”, or “put text”, and will convert these functions to the appropriate bit-level operations for a Noritake VFD display. The library will, in turn. call a lower level interface to actually manipulate the hardware. This 1/0 access layer will convert the API layer bit-level data to actual hardware 1/0 accesses.
The Display API Library can be broken into four main parts: graphics primitives, text primitives. glyph-based text primitives and display control. The primary purpose of this library is to provide Noritake customers with a portable library to allow them to use Noritake VFD displays in their products with a minimum of effort. In order for a customer to port the library to their platform, they must provide, in addition to their application, the I/0 Access Layer and the Digital I/0 Hardware. The I/0 Access Layer will be just a few simple functions that will allow the hardware to write or read to the command or data port on the VFD display. In the demonstration software, these functions will communicate with a digital I/0 board attached to a PC. In a micro-controller-based system, the Digital I/0 hardware may consist of simply an address decode, or it could be a couple of latches or buffers and associated address decode logic.