A goal of military display users and manufacturers is commonality: to utilize a given display on as many
platforms as possible. The often-addressed concern of obsolescence of commercial AMLCDs used on
military programs becomes a key issue, though, with regard to commonality. Obsolescence occurs as the
tools used in the manufacture of an AMLCD age and as new and improved materials and processes are
developed. The LCD manufacturer, at some point, decides to cease the manufacture of a particular
AMLCD. The users of that AMLCD then have two choices: make a lifetime buy of LCDs, or find a
replacement. For a display which has achieved some degree of commonality, this choice must be faced by
a number of different users on a number of platforms. This paper addresses some of the problems
encountered when such a choice is made, as an SVGA display made by one manufacturer is replaced by an
XGA display made by a different manufacturer.
Current AMLCD flat panels for military applications require intense backlighting to permit readability in full sunlit situations. This intense backlighting consumes a great deal of power, which limits their applications, reduces their reliability, and often necessitates cooling. One major factor aggravating this need for intense backlighting is the poor efficiency of the color filters. Not only do these filters have low transmittance, they are not spectrally pure which also results in poor color gamut. Smiths Industries suggests a new version of AMLCDs which does not have these lossy filters, but instead, utilizes a layer of green, red, and blue phosphors embedded within the AMLCD. These phosphors are energized by an ultraviolet backlight. This new technology could decrease the power consumption by a factor of four, while maintaining the same display luminance and contrast.