IBM Corp -- Thomas J. Watson Research Center.Yorktown Heights, N.Y.Roentgen High-Resolution Flat-Panel Display

Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. That traditional U.S. wedding custom provides an apt description of the technologies that Big Blue married to produce the world's highest-resolution, liquid-crystal, flat-panel display. Dubbed the Roentgen, the new display provides resolution equivalent to print on paper, even as it displays six times the information that currently can be shown on a conventional XGA monitor. The Roentgen creates a new class of large, high-resolution, high-content display that has the potential not only to replace cathode-ray-tube screens in standard display markets, but also to open up markets in radiology and medical imaging. Other applications that will benefit include digital photography, publishing, and those that display data drawn from huge databases of scanned images such as insurance and finance. Breakthrough technology enables IBM developers to use aluminum and copper to produce the 15 million thin-film transistors needed to achieve the high resolution. Aluminum and copper are more highly conductive than the molybdenum and tungsten used in standard flat-panel displays (FPDs). Further, by using the new metals, IBM can adapt current manufacturing equipment to produce Roentgen. Competitors in the high-resolution FPD industry are betting on polycrystalline silicon, which requires new -- and costly -- production equipment. IBM freely borrowed existing off-the-shelf components to build a scalable graphics-adapter architecture that is capable of handling the 5 million pixels that make up Roentgen's display. For example, the team adapted the capability of Windows NT to accommodate up to four virtual displays that act as one, with the borders virtually undetectable. The adapter is compatible with all current operating systems. John Teresko, John Sheridan, Tim Stevens, Doug Bartholomew, Patricia Panchak, Tonya Vinas, Samuel Greengard, Kristin Ohlson, and Barbara Schmitz contributed to this article.

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