MANHASSET, N.Y. A novel display technology that claims to be simpler in construction than an LCD and better performing than organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) or plasma appears to be inching closer to commercialization.
UniPixel Displays Inc. developed its Time Multiplexed Optical Shutter (TMOS) technology to address display requirements in avionics applications, particularly heads-down cockpit deployments. The Woodlands, Texas, company has engineering prototypes and expects "to have the display in a television application by the fourth quarter," said CFO James Tassone.
UniPixel has been working with Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (Parc), Lockheed and Sandia National Laboratories in developing TMOS, said Tassone, who discussed the technology at the recent USDC/Needham displays conference in New York.
"Our ability to realize the engineering prototypes in a reasonable time frame is enhanced tremendously by our relationship with Parc," said UniPixel president Reed Killion.
The company has completed $12 million in private financing with Tudor Investment Corp. "UniPixel's unique TMOS approach to color display technology is both revolutionary and disruptive," said Rob Broggi, a vice president at Tudor.
Indeed, "While most new display technologies don't offer a clear and substantial added value to potential customers and end users, UniPixel certainly seems to," said Ken Werner, senior analyst at market research firm Insight Media. "The structure would seem to offer much lower cost than LCD."
But the road to a commercial product may not be smooth, Werner warned. "The fact that the UniPixel proprietary sandwich can be made with roll-to-roll processing is a big plus, but questions of uniformity and cost still have to be answered," he said. "Even if the answers to all these questions are reasonably positive, it typically takes a long time for system makers to assure themselves they want to take a flyer on a new technology and for panel makers to sign on. My '20-year rule' says no display technology goes from concept to high-volume application in less than 20 years."