Omron Develops World's First Frontlight Technology for Creating Brighter, Clearer Wireless Handheld LCD Screens; to Display at CEATEC Japan 2003
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Omron Develops World's First Frontlight Technology for Creating Brighter, Clearer Wireless Handheld LCD Screens; to Display at CEATEC Japan 2003 - JCN Newswire
Omron Develops World's First Frontlight Technology for Creating Brighter, Clearer Wireless Handheld LCD Screens; to Display at CEATEC Japan 2003

 OMRON Frontlight Technology
Tokyo, Oct 1, 2003 - (JCN Newswire) - Omron Corporation (TSE: 6645) has developed the world's first* frontlight manufacturing technology capable of making brighter, clearer liquid display screens while reducing power consumption for wireless handheld's, PDA's and other mobile information terminals.

The new technology will be on exhibit from October 7 - 11 at the CEATEC JAPAN 2003 show to be held at the Makuhari Messe near Tokyo in Chiba Prefecture.

The frontlight manufacturing technique, which applies nanotechnology, achieves a three-fold improvement in contrast ratio compared to frontlights manufactured by other companies, and screen brightness rivaling that of notebook computers (100cd/m2) through highly efficient light control.

Conventional frontlight methods have featured low power consumption but with low contrast (blurred picture), while backlight methods have featured high contrast (sharp images) but with high power consumption, thus contradictory approaches.

By proprietarily developing the world's first hybrid integration technology combining a nano prism array with a micro prism array into a frontlight, low power consumption and a bright, clear liquid crystal display screen are both possible.

With the spread of camera equipped mobile phones and video image transmission, market demand for brighter, clearer mobile phone as well as PDA liquid crystal display screens has grown increasingly more. The mobile phone is no longer used only as a phone but as an information terminal and a mechanism for reducing energy consumption is necessary in the face of a greater trend toward screen energy consumption. Omron developed this new frontlight manufacturing technology as a solution to these two needs.

Focusing on heavily demanded optical control technology following electrical control technology, Omron will concentrate on micro lens arrays, optical control devices and other developments.

* According to in-company research.

Features/performance comparisons

1) Features

- Micro prism array realizes higher brightness, highly efficient control of LED light
- Nano prism array prevents reflection of unnecessary light, realizes clear screen images
- Proprietary design technology and fine processing technology realize reduction in number of LED's and lower power consumption

2) Performance comparisons
Omron's frontlight Other frontlights Other backlights Power consumption (mA) 20 30 60 Contrast ratio 55:1 15:1 50:1 Display brightness (cd/m2) 100 30 100 Technology explanation

Omron created the world's first technology mixing together nano prism arrays (size: 200nm) and micro prism arrays (size: 3um) on the frontlight.

1.) Micro prism array

Utilizing proprietary vector radiation coupling technology enabling highly efficient control of light emitting from backlight installed LED's, Omron has since developed and possesses technology for brightening liquid crystal display screens.

With this vector radiation coupling technology, a micro prism array is designed in the upper surface of light (backlight or frontlight), allowing the path down which the light travels to straighten, thereby spreading all the light from the LED's throughout the liquid crystal and making it possible to control the emission point and emission angle of the light radiating from the liquid crystal display screen. This eliminates the maximum amount of light loss, achieving a brighter screen [Diagram #1].

However, by applying the micro prism array to the frontlight in this way, light that enters the frontlight from LED's or from outside such as sunlight will cause reflection (optical noise) in the upper light surface or lower light surface of the frontlight. Light coming from the liquid crystal display screen will blend with this optical noise, leading to decreased image quality (drop in contrast) and no frontlight diffusion despite lower power consumption [Diagram #2].

2. Nano prism array

Optical noise is produced across the material interface at two different refractive indices. However, if the very fine nano prism array, with a size less than half that of an optical wavelength, can be formed in the facing surface, reflected light can be reduced [Diagram #2].

Applying this theory, Omron created a 200nm (half the size of the shortest wavelength among light's three primary colors - the blue light wavelength is 400nm) nano prism array in the facing surface of the frontlight.

Doing this enabled control of the optical noise produced on the frontlight interface, realizing a high contrast, clear image display.

3. Hybrid integrated technology

Omron succeeded in developing the world's first hybrid integrated technology that fuses micro prism arrays with nano prism arrays. This technology takes both micro prism arrays and nano prism arrays, characterized by a several ten-fold size disparity in patterns, and unites them into one development.

The realization of a bright liquid crystal display screen through micro prism arrays and the realization of near zero reflected light, high contrast and clear image through nano prism arrays are the features integrated into a frontlight for the first time, achieving a bright, clear, low energy consuming frontlight.


Headquartered in Kyoto, Japan, OMRON Corporation (TSE: 6645; NYSE: OMRNY) is a global leader in the field of automation. Established in 1933 and headed by President and CEO Hisao Sakuta, OMRON has more than 33,000 employees in over 32 countries working to provide products and services to customers in a variety of fields including industrial automation, electronic components, social systems (ticket gate machines, ticket vending machines and traffic control) and healthcare. The company is divided into five regions and head offices are in Japan (Kyoto), Asia Pacific (Singapore), China (Shanghai), Europe (Amsterdam) and US (Chicago). For more information, visit OMRON's website at


Takayuki Nakamura
Christopher Udell
Corporate Brand Communications Department


Oct 1, 2003
Source: OMRON

OMRON (TSE: 6645) (U.S: OMRNY)

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Topic: Research and development
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