Beneq is the name of the business that runs the facilities that make EL displays in Espoo, Finland. The company spun out of Planar in 2012 and continues to make EL displays for customers that appreciate the very rugged and functional mono displays. At the show, the main focus was on the Lumineq transparent displays. The EL materials are transparent and ITO can be used for electrodes, so adding the display reduces the transparency from around 90% to 80%.
The image quality remains good as the company has to achieve very good uniformity in the electrode deposition. Choice of glass is also important as some of the manufacturing processes need temperatures as high as 500 deg C.
The EL displays can achieve brightness as high as 1500 cd/m2 for segmented displays, although matrix displays suffer from the usual downsides of passive driving so brightness is typically 80 – 100 cd/m2. We asked about mirror displays and we heard that the displays are actually made on polished aluminium – they are a mirror and Beneq has had to develop a black coating to give the contrast that customers want!