20 April 2015

A closer look at the IPS LCD screen

IPS stands for 'in plane switching' and is used on LCDs (liquid crystal display) to achieve brighter colours and higher contrast than the older TN (twisted nematic) LCDs of the late 1980s. This article provides a closer look at the IPS technology and how it enhances the viewing experience of our 7" LCD colour multi gauge.

A brief history of the TFT IPS LCD

LCDs are used in a whole range of appliances such as TVs, computers, laptops and clocks. LCDs can display fixed or dynamic images that can be hidden or displayed, using a thin display by means of unlit liquid crystals. In the mid-'90s, TFT LCDs were the preferred option for computer monitors. TFT - or Thin Film Transistor - LCDs exhibited better colours, contrast and response times compared to their older versions as they consisted of an 'active matrix LCD'.

In 1996 Hitachi first developed the IPS LCD. The original design has gone through several versions to refine its functionality. The IPS LCD is still using TFT but provides higher quality images amongst other advantages. And you most definitely have seen it in use today because Apple is one of the largest companies to use this technology. It is found in iPhone 4 onwards, iPad 3 onwards and Mac Book Pro with retina display.

How does IPS work?

The liquid crystals in an IPS display are arranged horizontally to the screen and an electrical field is applied between each end of the crystal molecules. This is called a lateral electric field. This method ensures that the crystals remain parallel to the electrode pair, and the glass substrate of the screen. So, whilst TFT LCDs use just one transistor per pixel, the IPS LCDs feature two transistors for each pixel. Furthermore, the liquid crystal molecules are not fixed to the lower glass substrate, thus can travel into the desired display image. This active array matrix essentially is what drives the major advantages of the IPS LCD over earlier versions.

Advantages of the IPS LCD

There are several benefits of the IPS LCD over the basic TFT screens. These include:

  • Improved viewing angle which allows the user to see consistent colours from a wider viewing range
  • Better contrast between colours and improved colour reproduction
  • Enhanced black levels
  • High quality image display
  • Stable response times

Zada Tech’s 7 inch IPS LCD multi gauge

And so there you have it! We have used the IPS LCD to develop the 7 inch full colour multi gauge to achieve optimal viewing angles and richer colours. This digital multi gauge comes with a joystick so you an effortlessly scroll between screens, and set peak values, all of which are displayed as high quality images. We can even add your graphics to the start-up (splash) screen for a bespoke design.

Check it out here, or email us for any questions! info@zada-tech.com