17 Jun 2002
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California has become the first customer for IBM's high-resolution computer display. IBM says that the monitor is 12 times clearer than current displays and it is on the market 10 years earlier than some industry analysts had predicted. IBM plans to start shipping to other customers next year and licence the technology to other manufacturers.
The 22-inch screen has 200 pixels per inch and over 9 million pixels in total making it as clear as a photograph and four or five times sharper than state-of-the-art high-definition TV screens.Ross Young, president of market research firm DisplaySearch of Austin, Texas, in the US, commented: "When IBM showed a prototype of this technology in 1998, many in the industry predicted that this display wouldn't be ready for mass production until at least 2010. The technology can change the way in which computers are used in a range of areas where high-resolution images are required, and I am impressed that IBM is able to produce them today."
IBM has been working on the technology at its research laboratories in Yorktown Heights, New York, and Yamato, Japan, since 1995. The active-matrix liquid-crystal display is based on aluminum instead of molybdenum and tungsten - metals traditionally used in displays. IBM has also demonstrated copper in experimental displays and plans its use in future display technologies. Aluminum and copper are better conductors and make low-cost, high-resolution displays possible, the company says.At the Lawrence Livermore installation the displays will be used to study the operation and ageing of nuclear weapons using three-dimensional model simulations. The resolution on the screen is so precise that desktop monitors can replace wall-sized screens. The laboratory will take delivery of ten more monitors by mid-2001.VIBM says that the technology could revolutionize medicine by replacing conventional film X-rays. Doctors will be able to view digitally-photographed X-rays immediately on the display.In the car industry, crisp images could replace hundreds of hand-built design models for all of the different parts of the car, allowing instant changes.
In weather forecasting, large printed satellite maps and photographs could be replaced with photo-quality digital images.