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Alphanumeric display

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Abstract

Alphanumeric displays are playing an increasing role in electronic equipment. Two main applicational areas can be defined: that requiring digital output of up to 16 numerals and that requiring full alphanumeric output of at least 200 characters. For digital output, there are several technologies offering 7-bar displays, the major contenders for the market being light-emitting-diode (l.e.d.), gas-discharge and liquid-crystal displays. Others are vacuum-fluorescent, electroluminescent and incandescent filaments. Above 200 characters, the technologies are more limited and, indeed, the demands are met mainly by the cathode-ray tube (c.r.t.). Flat cross-bar addressed displays, however, are being introduced to challenge the c.r.t., the most advanced being the gas-discharge plasma panel. The technologies determine the display output characteristics and dictate largely the drive circuits. This review is, therefore, oriented towards devices, with the major technologies being described in detail. The display market is a large one and there is extensive continuing research and development to improve present performance. The main advances and innovations are also outlined. In spite of the effort involved, none of the devices offers the ideal display module, and how closely the requirements of the electronic engineers can be met in the various types of equipment by available devices provides the main theme of the review.

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