TFT LCD Monitors

Many companies have adopted Thin Film Transistor (TFT) technology to improve colour screens. In a TFT screen, also known as active matrix, an extra matrix of transistors is connected to the LCD panel – one transistor for each colour (RGB) of each pixel. These transistors drive the pixels, eliminating at a stroke the problems of ghosting and slow response speed that afflict non-TFT LCDs. When introduced, TFTs offered screen response times of the order of 25ms, contrast ratios in the region of 200:1 to 400:1 and brightness values between 200 and 250cd/m2 (candela per square metre). At time of writing an affordable 19 LCD TFT monitor should give response time sub 5ms and brightness in the region of 300cd/m2. The liquid crystal elements of each pixel are arranged so that in their normal state (with no voltage applied) the light coming through the passive filter is polarised so as to pass through the screen. When a voltage is applied across the liquid crystal elements they twist by up to ninety degrees in proportion to the voltage, changing their polarisation and thereby blocking the light’s path. The transistors control the degree of twist and hence the intensity of the red, green and blue elements of each pixel forming the image on the display. TFT screens can be made much thinner than LCDs, making them lighter, and refresh rates now approach those of CRTs as the current runs about ten times faster than on a DSTN screen. VGA screens need 921,000 transistors (640x480x3), while a resolution of 1024×768 needs 2,359,296 and each has to be perfect. The complete matrix of transistors...

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