Touchscreen devices contain many different components, two of the most important being a digitizer and a liquid-crystal display (LCD). The combination of these components allows a touchscreen device to both detect touch commands as well as project images. Without either a digitizer or a LCD, a touchscreen device simply won’t work as intended. So, what’s the difference between a touchscreen digitizer and an LCD exactly?

What Is a Touchscreen Digitizer?

Consisting of a layer of glass, a touchscreen digitizer is a component that’s designed to convert analog touch signals into digital touch signals so that the device can respond with the appropriate command.

Touchscreens can’t respond to analog touch signals. Rather, they must first convert an analog touch signal into a digital touch signal. Once converted, the digital touch signal can be sent to processed by the touchscreen’s computer. The computer will identify the digital touch signal, followed by projecting the appropriate image or images on the display.

What Is a Touchscreen LCD?

In addition to a digitizer, nearly all touchscreens have a an LCD. An LCD, of course, is an electronic display that’s characterized by the use of liquid pixels. Unlike with most other display technologies, LCD doesn’t use solid pixels. Rather, it uses liquid pixels comprised of an organic material.

Touchscreens need an LCD to produce images. If a touchscreen only has a digitizer and no display, it won’t produce images. In most touchscreens, the LCD consists of a panel that’s placed behind the digitizer.

Backlighting for LCDs

A third component that’s found in touchscreens is backlighting. Backlighting works in conjunction with an LCD to produce the touchscreen’s images. LCDs aren’t capable of creating light, so in order for them to work, they need a separate lighting solution. Known as backlighting, it’s an essential component for all LCD touchscreens.

Light-emitting diode (LED) backlighting is frequently used in LCD touchscreens. It’s long-lasting, energy efficient and produces substantial illumination. Some LED backlighting also uses optical fiber or light guides to distribute the LED-produced light more evenly.

In Conclusion

Touchscreens use a digitizer to convert analog touch signals into digital touch signals, and they use an LCD to produce images. Therefore, they are both essential components of touchscreens. For an LCD to work, though, it also needs backlighting. Typically consisting of LED bulbs, backlighting illuminates the LCD’s pixels with light.