You’ve probably heard of liquid-crystal display (LCD) technology. It’s become one of the leading technologies for creating display devices, including TVs, tablets, smartphones, human machine interfaces (HMIs) and more. However, there are different types of LCD technology, one of which is active matrix. Based on the name alone, it’s difficult to surmise what exactly active-matrix LCD is, let alone how it works. But we’re going to break down the characteristics of this increasingly popular LCD technology, revealing how it works and why it’s used.

Overview of Active-Matrix LCD

Active-matrix LCD is a type of display technology used to create flat-panel display devices with a high resolution. According to Wikipedia, it’s the only available LCD technology that’s used for creating high-resolution display devices. Active-matrix LCD was invented by Bernard Lechnar while working at RCA Laboratories in the late 1960s. As the technology was fine tuned, it became increasingly popular with device manufactures not only in the United States but throughout the world. Today, active-matrix LCD is the industry’s leading technology for high-resolution LCD devices.

How Active-Matrix LCD Works

In a typical active-matrix LCD, there are two polarizing sheets, as well as cells of liquid crystals, and a network of thin-film transistors. These thin-film transistors are important because they create the thin-film transistor LCD. Basically, they are responsible for storing the electrical state of the pixels within the LCD. The end result is a higher-resolution with a sharper display and better image quality than its passive-matrix counterpart.

Different Types of Active-Matrix LCDs

Of course, there are different types of active-matrix LCD technology. While all active-matrix LCDs feature a network of thin-film transistors, the way in which they operate varies depending on the specific type.

Twisted nematic, for example, is an active-matrix LCD technology that contains a twisting configuration of liquid crystals. With this configuration, light can easily pass through the liquid crystals to create a bright, bold display. One of the great things about twisted nematic LCD is that it can achieve virtually any gray color — something that can’t be said for other LCD technologies.

There’s also in-plane switching (IPS) LCD technology. With IPS, the liquid crystals of the display are aligned parallel to the glass layers. An electrical charge is applied to the glass layer, allowing the liquid crystals to switch on within the respective. IPS LCD is a relatively new display technology, though it’s becoming popular because of its high performance and image quality.