Susann Reuter, Director of IDTechEx, visited Citala US Inc. (www.Citala.com) in the heart of California's Silicon Valley.
The company develops, manufactures, supplies and supports flexible, reflective displays. Citala's displays are based on the company's proprietary optical shutter film trademarked Onyx™, that can rapidly change from opaque to transparent under electrical field.
Their manufacturing facility in Sunnyvale CA includes the most advanced roll to roll production equipment operating in a clean room environment.
Citala's flexible display technology enables the creation of innovative products across a wide range of markets such as smart cards, privacy glass/windows, portable electronics, home appliances, health care, handheld devices, sports equipment, signage, and more.
The company's proprietary technology offers a host of benefits, including true flexibility to capture limitless design opportunities. Its thin and flexible displays offer exceptional reflective readability including under bright sunlight, low power consumption, and interactive capabilities. Color reflectors and membrane switches can also be added. With optional backlight such as flexible electroluminescence, the APD™ (Active Pixel Displays) can also be used in the dark.
Citala's proprietary Onyx™ film is not sensitive to humidity or oxygen, thus it doesn't need additional encapsulation layer. Since the APD™ does not require polarizers, special barriers or maintaining accurate gap, the displays can be made very thin and flexible. Depending on the active coating formulation, the voltage required to operate the display is typically 18V. It takes only a tiny 5W/m2 of sustained power to drive the display, switching from opaque (Off-state) to transparent (On-state).
One of Citala's most interesting products is a smart card with an embedded flexible reflective display. The cards, offering a One Time Password (OTP) encryption, are currently manufactured and distributed for the financial industry with the Swiss company NagraID. Citala introduced EMV (European MasterCard and Visa) Contactless Display Module enabling a new set of applications for the credit card platform.
Another cutting edge application is aimed for the consumer electronics market, where Citala has designed and built a dynamic, flexible, and reflective Active Keypad for the use in mobile phones. These Active Keypads can actively display specific tasks at a time (or all together) presenting different keyboard layouts for different functions. These Active Keypads are much more user-friendly and include dome switches, color selection and backlight options.
In addition to display and key pad applications, Citala is distributing its core OnyxTM film, to be used as electro-optical shutters. The fast switching and large light transparency dynamic range (on-to-off ratio), makes it an attractive solution as privacy window or smart glass, in applications such as home appliances, architectural windows, automotive, marine and aviation. Onyx™ is available in long rolls of up to 1m in width. Citala launched its new and innovative customised product, Dynamic Privacy Glass™, a combination of a display and optical shuters.
True to its development roadmap, Citala is currently developing its next generation Active Matrix APD™ technology, enabling Higher Resolution.
Recently Citala and the German giant chemical company BASF have jointly announced their collaboration in the development of thin, flexible, readable, high resolution APD™ for the emerging E-book and E-signage markets. BASF developed a flexible back-plane transistor layer and integrated it with Citala's front-plane APD™ flexible display.
Working prototypes were demonstrated at the Printed Electronics USA '08 in San Jose, CA, highlighting the advantages of combing the two flexible technologies into an innovative, state-of-the-art integrated high resolution flexible reflective display.
For more information, please contact Dr. Aki Tomita, CTO firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more attend Printed Electronics Europe 2009.