Planar Glossary of Technical Terms, Business Abbreviations, and

Planar Glossary of Technical Terms, Business Abbreviations, and
Planar Glossary of Technical Terms,
Business Abbreviations, and TLAs
Alternating Current Thin Film Electroluminescent, sometimes called TFEL.
One of the three major flat panel technologies, the one Planar makes. See also
TFEL, LCD, and Plasma.
Active Area The entire area of the display where the pixels are located. See Fill Factor.
Active Matrix A high speed, high performance type of LCD. Usually color and very
costly. Has a TFT under each pixel. See TFT.
ALE 1) Atomic Layer Epitaxy, the patented process Planar International uses to deposit
thin films on their EL glass panels, functionality equal to Planar System's
Leybold machine. See Leybold and Thin Films. 2) A strong beer.
AMEL Active Matrix Electroluminescent.
AMLCD Active matrix LCD.
Analog Electrical signals that can have infinitely different intensities or voltages. See
ANSI (Say an-see). American National Standards Institute, a group that sets standards in
the USA.
Anti-glare A coating on the front of the display which reduces glare from ambient or
room light. Also called AG. See Filter.
Anti-reflective A coating on the front of an optical filter which reduces reflections from
ambient or room light. Also called AR. See Filter.
ASIC (Say ay-sik). Application-specific integrated circuit, a low cost controller we use
for high-volume displays.
ASP Average selling price.
Backlight The light source behind a transmissive LCD. See Transflective.
Backplate The glass cover that is glued to the back of an EL panel to protect the thin
films. See Seal.
Beta Site or Beta Testing The first versions of a new product are put in customer's
hands for field testing. This is called Beta Testing. The customer locations
performing the testing are Beta Sites.
Copyright © 1997 by Planar Systems, Inc.
Planar and “The Definition of Quality” are registered
trademarks and ICE is a trademark of Planar Systems,
Inc. LEXAN is a registered trademark of GE. Planar
provides this information as reference only and does
not imply any recommendation or endorsement of other
vendors’ products. This document is subject to change
without notice.
The Definition of Quality
Usually refers to the metal frame around our display that is used to hold the EL
glass and controller circuit board together. It protects the display and allows easy
BIOS (Say bye-ose). Basic Input-Output System, the most basic instructions in a
computer that tell the microprocessor how to work with a keyboard, how to put
information on a display, etc.
BOM Bill Of Materials, the list of items that make up an assembly.
Burn-In Turning on a new piece of EL glass and running it at a high frame rate for up
to 48 hours. This quickly ages the thin film so it won't change brightness later
and also reveals any faults in the EL glass. See Frame Rate.
Burn Out When an individual pixel on a display fails to light up due to being
electrically or mechanically damaged. Also called Latent Image.
Bus, Microprocessor The group of wires used by components in a computer to
connect to the microprocessor and communicate with it. Video interface cards
often plug into the bus.
B-V Curve A graph of Brightness versus Voltage, shows how the EL phosphor
brightness changes as voltage is varied. See Saturation and Threshold.
CAD Computer Aided Design, a way of making engineering design drawings on a
computer instead of with a pencil on a drawing board.
cd/m Candelas per square meter, a measure of brightness of a display. 1 footLambert =
3.4 cd/m2. 1 cd/m2 = 0.295 fL. See footLambert.
CGA Means 640.200 pixel format. See also EGA, VGA, SVGA, and XGA.
Clean Room A specially constructed air-filtered room used for the fabrication of EL
glass panels in a dust-free environment. See CHA and Leybold.
Clock The electrical timing signal sent to a display which makes sure that the video
data is written on the proper pixel. Also called dot clock or pixel clock. See
VSync, HSync, and Video Data.
COG Chip On Glass, a system of attaching the row and column driver integrated circuit
chips around the edge of the EL glass panel instead of soldering them on the
controller circuit board. See Controller and FSOG.
ColorBrite The Planar product line of AMLCD full-color displays.
Connectors The plug and socket combination that allows wires run between one piece
of electrical equipment and another to be easily disconnected.
Contrast Ratio The ratio of the brightness of an ON pixel to an OFF Pixel.
Controller 1) The circuit board containing the row and column driver chips and ASIC
or Xilinx chip, located behind the glass on a display 2) Also an interface card.
See ASIC, Interface Card, and Xilinx.
CP Circularly Polarized, a type of optical filter. See Filter.
CRT Cathode ray tube, the kind of display used in most TVs and computer monitors, a
fat panel display.
Planar Glossary
A special integrated circuit which takes information from a
microprocessor bus and formats it to drive a CRT or other display such as EL.
See Bus and Interface.
CSA Canadian Standards Association, a Canadian government testing department that
certifies that electrical equipment is safe and meets certain standards. See TUV
and UL.
Cycle Testing Testing performed on a display by running it at high temperature to
make sure that it won’t fail soon. Electronic failures usually show up quickly so
if it runs for a few hours without failing, it is much more likely to run for a long
DB-15 One of three connectors on a VGA card, the one where a CRT or Planar’s ELMVGA monitor connects and which supplies analog signals to the display. See
VGA Card.
DC/DC Converter A power supply which converts +5 volts and +12 volts DC to the
proper high DC voltages for the EL display.
DCEL Direct-Current EL. See Thick film EL.
DI Diagnostic Inventory, where broken ECAs and displays go to get repaired. See ECA.
Dielectric Layer An electrically insulating layer, one of the types of thin films in an
EL panel. See Thin Films.
Digital Electrical signals that can only be either on or off, usually represented by ones
and zeros. See Analog
DIN A series of German industrial standards, often used to describe a size of instrument
front panel (192 mm square) and hence the size of display that might fit in it. A
1/2 DIN size is 96 x 192 mm and 1/4 DIN is 96 mm square.
Display EL glass + controller electronics + DC/DC Converter. See also Controller,
DC/DC Converter, Monitor, OEM, and Terminal.
Dithering A process of checker-boarding pixels on and off in a pattern to give the
appearance of gray scale or shades of gray. See Gray Scale.
DPI. Dots Per Inch, the number of dots or pixels per inch on a display, some customers
think in DPI, some in pixel pitch. See Pixel Pitch.
Drivers. The high-voltage integrated circuits, usually mounted on the controller circuit
board, that direct the voltages to the row and column electrodes to light the
pixels. See Controller and Electrode.
DSM District Regional Manager, works under the RSM. See RSM.
DTC Design To Cost, making the cost of a new product a goal in the design.
DVT Design Verification Test, the group of tests that a new product is put through
before production starts to prove that it really meets the design requirements.
Usually includes tests of temperature, shock and vibration, MTBF, optical
performance, etc. See ORT.
EC European Community.
CRT Controller Chip
Planar Glossary
Etched Circuit Assembly, a completed printed circuit board with the electrical
components on it.
EGA Means 640.350 (sometimes 640.400) format. See also CGA, VGA, Super VGA
and XGA.
ECN Engineering Change Notice, what an ECR is called after it has been approved. See
ECR Engineering Change Request, the formal request to change a drawing or
specification. See ECN and ECRB.
ECRB Engineering Change Review Board, the group representing all departments
which approves ECRs. See ECR and ECN.
EL Electroluminescence, the characteristic of some materials that makes them give off
light in the presence of an electric field. See Phosphor.
Electrode Refers to the rows and columns on a matrix display that carry electricity to
the pixel. See ITO and Matrix Display.
Electroluminescent See EL
EMC Electro Magnetic Compliance.
EMI Electro Magnetic Interference, i.e. static. See Emissions.
Emissions The static emitted from an electronic device. See EMI, FCC, and VDE.
Emissive A display that emits its own light and therefore does not need backlighting or
ambient light. CRTs, EL and plasma displays are emissive. LCDs are nonemissive. See Backlight and Transflective.
Emulation To make one thing look like another. By careful design an EL display can
be made to perform like or emulate a CRT or an LCD.
End User One who buys our displays for his own in-house use but not for resale. See
also OEM.
Ergonomics The study of interaction between equipment and people, how people use
equipment. See Pitch.
ESD Electro Static Discharge, the electric shock that can come from a person and
which can silently damage or destroy sensitive electronics. Use of grounding
straps and special packaging can prevent ESD damage.
ETLA Extended TLA, having more than three characters. See TLA.
FCC Federal Communications Commission, a US government agency which regulates
electronic products for low emissions. See Emissions and VDE.
FCOG Flip Chip On Glass, an advanced type of COG with the chips glued on upside
down so the contact pads on the chips connect directly with the traces
(conductors) on the EL glass panel. See COG.
Planar Glossary
One of three connectors found on a PC VGA card, the one where
EL7768MS connects and which supplies digital signals to the display. See also
Bus, DB-15, PC, and VGA Card.
FG Finished Goods, an inventory location dedicated to finished products ready to ship.
Fill Factor The percentage of the active area that actually lights up. The ratio of pixel
size squared, divided by pixel pitch squared. The higher the fill factor, the
brighter the EL panel and the more power it consumes.
Filter A light-attenuating piece of transparent plastic or glass put in front of the display
to improve or enhance contrast (makes off-pixels appear blacker). See CP, Antiglare, and Anti-reflective.
Flex Flexible printed circuit board.
footLambert (fL) A measure of brightness of a display. One footLambert (fL) = 3.4
cd/m . One cd/m = 0.295 fL. See cd/m
Footprint The space a display takes on a desk or on the front of an instrument.
FQC Final Quality Check, our final test of products before shipment. We check 100%
of our displays. See QC.
Frame Buffer Part of the electrical interface circuit that allows a display to be updated
at a different speed (frame rate) than the computer generates the video data. EL
gets brighter as the frame rate is increased. A frame buffer is not required if the
two rates are the same. See Frame Rate.
Frame Rate The number of times per second that the image on a display is updated,
typically 60 Hertz (times per second) or more for EL. If a frame rate is too low,
the display appears to flicker. Also called Refresh Rate.
FYE Fiscal Year Ending, Planar's fiscal year does not coincide with the calendar year
but runs from Oct. 1 through the following Sept. FYE93 is the fiscal year that
began on Oct. 1, 1992 and ends on Sept. 30, 1993.
Glass 1) Custom display glass without controller or other electronics, usually sold to
military suppliers. 2) Thin films on a glass substrate. 3) LCD panel. See
Controller and LCD.
Gray Scale, Patterned A display which produces the perception of gray scale by
lighting checkerboard patterns of on/off pixels. The EL7768MS display uses a
combination of true and patterned gray scales. See also Dithering.
Gray Scale, True A display that can produce several different brightnesses in a single
pixel, common gray scales are 16-level, 64 level and 256 1evel. The EL640.480A3 display is a 16-level true gray scale display.
GS Glass Stock. The inventory location including the clean room and glass burn-in
GUI Graphical User Interface, a software system like Windows or a Macintosh that
allows a computer user to work with graphical icons and a mouse rather than by
typing commands.
Feature Connector
Planar Glossary
The time it takes a display to decrease or burn down to half its brightness.
Planar EL displays have no known half life. See Thick film EL.
HCPO Hard Copy of Purchase Order, as distinguished from a verbal order taken over
the phone. See PO.
House Account A customer account handled directly by a Planar employee instead of
through a manufacturer’s Rep. See RSM and Rep.
HSync (HS) Horizontal Synchronization, the electrical timing signal sent to a display
which tells it that it is time to start drawing a new row by writing video data on
the next line down. See VSync, Clock, and Video Data.
ICE Integral Contrast Enhancement
ICEBrite One of our lines of EL products.
IEC International Electrotechnical Commission.
I/0 Input/Output, the way electronic equipment communicates to the outside world. A
keyboard is an input device, a display and a printer are output devices.
Interconnects The electrical connections between the EL glass panel and the controller
board. Types include flex, lead frames, MOE, and TAB.
Interface Card The electrical circuitry needed to patch between a PC and a display.
Interlaced A type of display signal used with TV and CRTs where only half the screen
is drawn at a time by drawing first only the odd numbered lines, then the even
lines on the next frame. It lowers the cost of CRTs but tends to cause flicker.
Planar EL displays are non-interlaced and draw the entire image on each frame.
Inverted Structure A way that PI makes EL color glass panels. The viewer looks at the
film side instead of through the glass substrate.
IPA Isopropyl Alcohol, used as a cleaning solvent. No, you can’t drink it.
ISO 9000 International Standards Organization, a strict European quality standard that
companies can be certified to meet, the quality management system for the
ITO Indium Tin Oxide, a transparent conductor of electricity used for the column
electrodes on EL displays. See Electrode.
L5 Assembly Floor Stock. The inventory location including the display assembly area.
Latent Image (LI) The ghost image on a display which can result from the differential
aging of pixels. Every display technology has it to some extent. Also called LI.
See Burn Out.
LCD Liquid Crystal Display, one of the 3 major flat panel technologies. Consists of
crystals suspended in a liquid whose orientation can be changed by a voltage,
like Venetian blinds. See also Active Matrix, ACTFEL and Plasma
Lead Frame A type of interconnect where arrays of wires are soldered to the glass and
to the controller board. See Interconnects and Controller board.
Leybold The in-line vacuum deposition machine used in Beaverton’s clean room to
apply the thin films to make an EL glass panel. See Clean Room and Thin Films.
Planar Glossary
See Latent Image.
Matrix Display A display made up of an array of pixels, each individually controllable
and capable of showing text and graphics. Pixels can be lit to form a pattern
which is perceived as an image.
MB The inventory location for material that is nonconforming to specifications. See
Megahertz (MHz) Millions of cycles per second, a unit of frequency measurement.
Typical clock frequencies and video data rates are 10 MHz to 30 MHz. See
MicroBrite Planar’s line of miniature AMEL displays.
MIS Management Information Systems, the department responsible for computers,
networks, and data processing.
MOEs (Say moze). Metal-On-Elastomers, silicone rubber strips with tiny wires running
through them used for interconnects in many displays. See Interconnects.
Monitor A display in an enclosure with AC power supply to connect to a PC, usually
sold to end users. See also Display and Terminal.
Monochrome A display capable of only one color, sometimes with gray scales. Planar
yellow displays are monochrome, but multi-color displays are not.
MPI Manufacturing Process Instructions.
MPS Master Production Schedule, a plan showing what products will be manufactured
during a particular time period.
MRB Material Review Board, the group which decides the fate of materials in the MB
stock location. See MB.
MRP Material Requirements Planning.
MTBF Mean Time Between Failures, a measure of reliability. Sometimes referred to as
Multi-color A display capable of a partial range of colors but not full color. The
EL640.350-DA1 is a multi-color display. See Monochrome, RG, RGB, and Subpixel.
Non-interlaced See Interlaced.
Non-volatile Memory Computer memory that won’t be lost when the power is turned
off. Examples are PROM, floppy disks, and hard disks. See PROM.
NPI New Product Introduction, a process for managing new product ideas from
conception through definition, design to production.
NRE Non Recurring Engineering, one-time charges made to a customer for designing a
new customer-specific display.
NTSC National Television Standards Committee, a video signal format used in USA
for television. Does not apply to computer monitors.
Planar Glossary
Original Equipment Manufacturer, one who buys our displays and builds them
into his own product for sale to others. See also End User.
On-Off A display capable of showing pixels that are only on or off, i.e. not gray scale.
See Gray Scale.
ORC The initials of the ultraviolet (UV) exposure machine used in the photolab. See
ORT Ongoing Reliability Test, tests that continue while a display is in production to
verify that no hidden reliability problems have started. See DVT.
PAm Planar America. The US part of the Planar OEM Display Components group,
located in Beaverton, Oregon.
Passive LCD The most common type of LCD having a thin film transistor controlling
each pixel. See Active Matrix, Backlight, and TFT
PC Personal Computer, usually refers to an IBM or IBM-compatible PC.
Phosphor The material that luminesces to produce the yellow light in our displays. On
our standard displays, it is zinc sulfide mixed with manganese (ZnS:Mn).
Different phosphors are used to make different colors.
Photolab A special clean room that has yellow lights and is used for processing
photosensitive materials during the manufacture of EL glass panels. See ITI and
Photo Mask A chrome-plated glass mask used to make the pattern of rows and
columns on an EL glass panel.
PI Planar International, Ltd. located in Espoo, Finland. See Planar and PSI.
Pixel Picture element, the smallest element of a picture.
Pitch The distance from one pixel to the next. 0.33 mm is a standard pitch for good
ergonomics, which is the same as 72 dpi. See DPI and Ergonomics.
Planar 1) An adjective meaning flat or lying in one plane 2) The world's leading EL
flat panel display manufacturer 3) The largest flat panel manufacturer in North
America or Europe. See Pl and PSI.
Plasma One of the three major flat panel technologies, usually red in color. Sometimes
called gas plasma. See also Active Matrix, Emissive, Passive LCD, and
PO Purchase Order, the contractual document used by our customers to order Planar
products or by our materials buyers to order from our suppliers . See HCPO.
Powdered EL See DCEL and Thick-film EL.
PROM Programmable Read-Only Memory, a type of integrated circuit that is nonvolatile. Sometimes called EPROM or electrically programmable read-only
memory. See Non-volatile Memory.
PSI Planar Systems Inc. Located in Beaverton, Oregon. See Planar and Pl.
QA 1) Quality Assurance 2) The inventory location for incoming material inspection.
Planar Glossary
Quality Control, the process of testing incoming parts, EL glass panels and displays
and comparing the results to a specification. See FQC.
QFD Quality Function Deployment, a means of rating the items that the customer sees
as contributing to the quality of a product.
Quality Conformance to specifications conformance to the customer's requirements.
See QC and TQM.
RAM Random Access Memory. Volatile memory that forgets or erases completely
when power is turned off. See Non-volatile.
Refresh Rate See Frame Rate.
Rep Abbreviation for manufacturer's representative, an independent salesperson who
represents products from a number of different manufacturers. Planar sells its
products primarily through Reps who are paid a commission on their sales. See
Resolution 1) The pixel matrix of a display i.e. 640.400 etc., or 2) The number of dots
per inch. See DPI.
RFI Radio Frequency Interference. See Emissions and EMI.
RFQ Request For Quote. Issued to suppliers to get a cost estimate prior to issuing a PO.
RG Red-Green, the two primary sub-pixel colors produced by a multi-color display
allowing a range of colors including red, green, yellow, and black. See Multicolor, RGB, and Sub-pixel.
RGB Red-Green-Blue, the three primary sub-pixel colors that are used in displays and
TVs to make up full color images. See Multi-color, RG, and Sub-pixel.
RMA Returned Material Authorization, a tracking number assigned by Customer
Service to any products being shipped back to Planar from a customer for any
RSM Regional Sales Manager, a Planar employee in charge of sales in a geographic
region. RSMs oversee a number of Reps as well as handle house accounts in
their region. See Rep and House Account.
RTV 1) Return To Vendor 2) Room Temperature Vulcanizing, silicone rubber that
cures at room temperature.
SA Sub Assembly, the inventory location for storage of completed custom display glass
Saturation The point of diminishing returns where increasing the voltage on an EL
panel no longer gives additional brightness. See B-V Curve and Threshold.
SC Salvage Clearing. The inventory location for rejected material to be returned to its
vendor. See RTV.
Screen A general term meaning display or glass panel.
Seal The process of applying the backplate to an EL glass panel. See Backplate.
SF or S/F Sales Forecast, a monthly forecast of the projected sales of our products.
Planar Glossary
Stock. The inventory location for storage of raw material stock.
Software The instructions or programs that tell a microprocessor or computer what to
Sub-pixel A portion of a pixel that is individually controllable, usually used in color
displays which have red, green, and blue sub-pixels in each pixel. See Multicolor, Pixel, RG, and RGB.
Substrate The base material (usually glass) to which thin films are applied to make an
EL glass panel. See Thin Films
SVGA Super VGA. Usually means 1024.768 pixel format (sometimes means 800.600).
See also CGA, EGA, VGA, and XGA.
TAB Tape Automated Bonding, a type of interconnect. See Interconnect.
Tab The portion of the display bezel used for mounting..
Terminal A display in an enclosure with AC power supply with electronics to connect
to a BIG computer, i.e. like ELT320, usually sold to end users. See also Display
and Monitor.
TFEL An ambiguous term which can mean either Thin-Film or Thick-Film EL. Thinfilm EL is always AC and is what Planar makes, while thick-film is always DC
and is used for LCD backlights. See ACTFEL and Thick-film EL.
TFT Thin Film Transistor, the electronic switch that controls each pixel in an active
matrix LCD. See Active Matrix.
Thick film EL A low-tech kind of EL used in EL backlights for LCDs and by the nowdefunct Cherry EL Displays. Thick-film EL loses brightness, rapidly becoming
half as bright in as little as a few months. Many prospects may think that Planar's
thin-film EL has this same aging problem but that is not true. Also called
Powdered EL or DCEL. See Half-life and TFEL.
Thin Films The various layers deposited on a glass substrate to make up an EL glass
panel. See ALE and Leybold.
Threshold The lowest voltage that will cause the EL phosphor to light up. See B-V
Curve and Saturation
TLA Three Letter Acronym, abbreviations used to shorten conversations and to confuse
the uninitiated. See ETLA.
Touch Panel A device placed in front of a display which senses touch by finger or
stylus and sends that information to a computer. There are a number of ways of
sensing touch such as infrared, resistive, capacitive, and surface acoustic wave
TQM Total Quality Management, the process of diffusing the concept of customer
satisfaction throughout the company by understanding that every employee has
customers (some internal, some external) and that it is necessary to continuously
improve the level to which you meet their requirements. See Quality.
Transflective A type of LCD which can operate in either the transmissive (backlit)
mode or in the reflective (ambient light) mode. See Backlight.
10 Planar Glossary
Technisher Uberwachungs Verien Rheinland, Germany’s safety organization. See
UL and CSA.
UL Underwriters Lab, an independent testing company in the USA that certifies
electrical equipment is safe and meets certain standards. See CSA and TUV.
Upside An increase in the forecasted or planned production of a product or in a
customer order.
VDE A German agency which certifies electronic products for low emissions,
equivalent to FCC in the US. See Emissions and FCC.
VGA Means 640.480 pixel format. See also CGA, EGA, SVGA, and XGA.
VGA Card An interface card for an PC-compatible computer which plugs into the bus
and typically provides both analog (CRT-type) video outputs through a DB-15
connector and also digital video outputs through a feature connector. See Bus,
DB-15, and Feature Connector.
Video The electrical signals that tell the display what to show.
Video Data The electrical signal sent to a display which tells it whether to turn each
pixel on or off, or how bright in the case of a gray-scale display. The timing of
video data is controlled by VSync, Hsync, and clock signals. See VSync, HSync,
Gray Scale, and Clock.
Viewing Angle How far to the side of a display you can move and still see what is on
the screen. It is measured in degrees from side to side. EL viewing angle is
greater than 160 degrees.
VSync Vertical Synchronization, the electrical timing signal sent to a display which
tells it that it is time to start drawing a new frame beginning with the video data
for the top row. See HSync, Clock, and Video Data.
WIP Work In Process, parts still in manufacturing that haven't been completed.
XGA Means 1024.768 format. See also CGA, EGA, VGA and Super VGA.
Xilinx Brand name for a special programmable integrated circuit used on the controller
board to control many of Planar's displays. May be replaced by an ASIC on highvolume displays to reduce costs. See ASIC and Controller.
Yield A term for how many good displays are produced out of the total number of
displays started. Total Number Started minus Scrap equals Yield. A high yield,
i.e. 80%-100%, means that you are efficient in making your product.
ZIF Zero Insertion Force, a type of electrical connector that mates with little or no force
Planar Glossary 11
Planar Applications Engineering may be contacted at:
North & South America OEM Sales:
Europe & Asia-Pacific OEM Sales:
Federal and End-User System Sales:
Planar America, Inc.
Planar International Ltd.
Planar Advanced, Inc.
1400 NW Compton Drive
PO Box 46
PO Box 4001
Beaverton, Oregon 97006-1992
Olarinluoma 9
13950 Karl Braun Drive
FIN-02201 Espoo, Finland
Beaverton OR 97076-4001
Tel. (503) 690-6967
Tel. + 358-9-42 001
Tel. (503) 614-4111
Fax (503) 690-1493
Fax + 358-9-422 143
Fax (503) 614-4101
Visit the Planar website:
12 Planar Glossary
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