The December 2022 issue of IEEE Spectrum is here!

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Little Big Cameras

Your next digital camera may adhere to a standard you've never heard of: Micro Four Thirds

3 min read

Launching a new consumer electronics category is a risky business, and it doesn't help when it's squeezed into the no-man's-land between two other categories. Tablet computers, for example, are awkwardly situated north of smartphones in size and south of notebooks in performance.

With November's launch of the Olympus E-P2, the population of the no-man's-land between the top end of point-and-shooters and the low end of digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras reached five models. But there's little indication that the public understands the new category any better than it did in August 2008, when Panasonic and Olympus launched their first Micro Four Thirds cameras.

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Digging Into the New QD-OLED TVs

Formerly rival technologies have come together in Samsung displays

5 min read
Television screen displaying closeup of crystals

Sony's A95K televisions incorporate Samsung's new QD-OLED display technology.

Televisions and computer monitors with QD-OLED displays are now on store shelves. The image quality is—as expected—impressive, with amazing black levels, wide viewing angles, a broad color gamut, and high brightness. The products include:

All these products use display panels manufactured by Samsung but have their own unique display assembly, operating system, and electronics.

I took apart a 55-inch Samsung S95B to learn just how these new displays are put together (destroying it in the process). I found an extremely thin OLED backplane that generates blue light with an equally thin QD color-converting structure that completes the optical stack. I used a UV light source, a microscope, and a spectrometer to learn a lot about how these displays work.

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