My biggest concern is longevity. My products need to remain viable for a good 10 years (nature of our market). Having designed in displays before I know that about the time I release to production the display is at end of life…I was hoping that the industry had changed a bit…I am concerned that it is difficult to guarantee the longevity I require…that is where my discomfort lies…My other choice is to use more standard buttons and a much less sophisticated these tend to hang around longer. That being said.. is there a display size that tends to remain active the longest?
Reach Technology Answer:
Your longevity concerns are shared by many of our customers. They make products for the medical industry, and changes are painful for them because of the regulatory issues. They require that products do not change over time, or change as little as possible. They also require product availability for 10 years.
The LCD manufacturers are somewhat sensitive to this, and they make “industry standard” sizes (4.3″, 5.7″, 7″, 10.1″, etc.), and they usually try to offer form/fit/function replacements when possible. A current trend among manufacturers is to discontinue their CCFL backlight panels in favor of panels with LED backlight. As they discontinue the CCFL panels, we roll in the replacement LED backlight panel and associated cable and driver board.
Some display module vendors use LCD panels in odd sizes, usually piggy-backing on sizes used by a large manufacturer’s high-volume product, such as a GPS display. This allows the display module vendor to offer inexpensive products, but once the high-volume product changes to a different LCD panel, the display manufacturer is hosed (as are their customers).
Because we only offer industry-standard LCD sizes, we are able to substitute LCD panels into our display modules with little to no impact on our customers. We strive to build any given hardware/software configuration as long as components are available. We have display modules that have been in production for over 10 years. This allows customers to design their products without having to worry about unexpected changes in our products.
Regarding which size would remain active the longest, since we only use industry-standard sizes, they are not prone to going obsolete (from a size perspective). The main concern is a technology going obsolete (as in the CCFL issue described above), or with a specific vendor having supply or quality problems. In these cases, we are able to source an alternative panel and keep our display module the same.
Let us know if you would like to talk about the longevity issue in detail. We would be happy to get on the phone and discuss it further.