|Title of Invention||
AN ELECTRONIC DISPLAY DEVICE AND METHOD OF MANUFACTURING THEREOF
|Abstract||A MEMS-based display device is described, wherein an array of interferometric modulators are configured to reflect light through a transparent substrate. The transparent substrate is sealed to a backplate and the backplate can contain electronic circuity for controlling the array of interferometric modulators. The backplate can provide physical support for device components, such as electronic components which can be used to control the state of the display. The backplate can also be utilized as a primary structural support for the device.|
|Full Text||FORM 2THE PATENTS ACT, 1970(39 of 1970)&The Patents Rules, 2003PROVISIONAL / COMPLETE SPECIFICATION(See section 10 and rule 13)
1. TITLE OF THE INVENTION : "METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PACKAGING A MEMSDEVICE"
2. APPLICANT (S)(a) NAME IDC, LLC(b) NATIONALITY : USA(c) ADDRESS Incorporated in Delaware of 2415 Third Street, San Francisco, California94107, USA
3. PREAMBLE TO THE DESCRIPTION
PROVISIONALThe following specification describes the invention [V]COMPLETEThe following specification particularly describes the invention and the manner in which it is to be performed.
4. DESCRIPTION (Description shall start from next page)
5. CLAIMS (not applicable for provisional specification. Claims should start with the preamble - "I/we claim" on separate page)
6. DATE AND SIGNATURE (to be given at the end of last page of specification)
7. ABSTRACT OF THE INVENTION (to be given along with complete specification on separate page)
Note:-*Repeat boxes in case of more than one entry.*To be signed by the applicant(s) or by authorized registered patent agent.*Name of the applicant should be given in full, family name in the beginning."Complete address of the applicant should be given stating the postal index no./code, state andcountry*Strike out the column which is/are not applicable.
Internal reference: IRDM.020 EP / IDC-0035
METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR PACKAGING A MEMS DEVICE
Field The field of the invention relates to microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Embodiments of the invention relate to micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and methods for packaging such systems. More specifically, the invention relates to packaging an interferometric modulator using a backplate that also holds electronic circuitry connected to the modulator.
Background Consumers generally desire that electronic products be as small and lightweight as possible. As flat panel displays grow in capability and widespread application, it is not unusual for the size of a product to be driven by the size of the display, with great pressure to make the
15 rest of the product fit within a minimal volume. Two dimensions of that volume are frequently defined by the 2D footprint of the flat panel display. With the increasing desirability of product "thinness," it becomes increasingly desirable to make thinner layers, to combine layers, and/or to eliminate layers from the product. Examples of product layers include, but are not limited to, clear windows to protect the display, airgaps between the protective window and the display,
20 frontlights in front of the display, touch screens, plastic films with optical functionalities, the display front glass, the active layers of the display, the display back glass, backlights behind the display, PC boards, plastic films carrying interconnections, and plastic and metal layers comprising the physical enclosure of the product.
The predominant display used in manufacturing handheld portable electronic devices is
25 currently the Liquid Crystal Display (LCD). The principal layers of the LCD include a front glass, a back glass, and several plastic optical films. Due to the nature of an LCD, both the front plate and the back plate of the LCD serve as active or functional components of the LCD, placing limitations on the degree to which layers can be combined, eliminated, and/or replaced with a thinner layer in order to decrease the thickness of the overall display. In addition, the active
30 nature of both plates of an LCD places limitations on the materials which can be used in those plates, and therefore the strength and durability of the plates. If additional strength and/or protection is required beyond what can be provided using materials suitable for the LCD plates, other layers of material may be required in addition to the LCD plates, potentially adding to the thickness, weight, and cost of the device.
Microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) include micro mechanical elements, actuators, and electronics. Micromechanical elements may be created using deposition, etching, and or other micromachining processes that etch away parts of substrates and/or deposited material layers or that add layers to form electrical and electromechanical devices. One type of MEMS 5 device is called an interferometric modulator. An interferometric modulator may comprise a pair of conductive plates, one or both of which may be transparent and/or reflective in whole or part and capable of relative motion upon application of an appropriate electrical signal. One plate may comprise a stationary layer deposited on a substrate, the other plate may comprise a metallic membrane separated from the stationary layer by an air gap. Such devices have a wide range of 10 applications, and it would be beneficial in the art to utilize and/or modify the characteristics of these types of devices so that their features can be exploited in improving existing products and creating new products that have not yet been developed.
15 The system, method, and devices of the invention each have several aspects, no single
one of which is solely responsible for its desirable attributes. Without limiting the scope of this invention, its more prominent features will now be discussed briefly. After considering this discussion, and particularly after reading the section entitled "Detailed Description of Certain Embodiments" one will understand how the features of this invention provide advantages over
20 other display devices.
In one embodiment, for example, a display is provided, including a transparent substrate, an array of interferometric modulators configured to reflect light through said transparent substrate, a backplate sealed to the transparent substrate and providing a cavity for said interferometric modulators, and electronic circuitry located on the backplate and in electrical
25 connection with the array of interferometric modulators.
In another embodiment, a device having a display is provided, including a transparent substrate, an array of interferometric modulators configured to reflect light through the transparent substrate, and a backplate sealed to the transparent substrate and providing a cavity for the interferometric modulators, wherein the backplate comprises electronic circuitry
30 configured to control the interferometric modulators. In further embodiments, the backplane serves as a primary structural component of the display, and provides physical support for additional electronic circuitry configured to control the display.
In another embodiment, a method of manufacturing a display device is provided, including providing a transparent substrate comprising an array of interferometric modulators,
35 providing a backplate comprising electronic circuitry configured to control the array of
interferometric modulators, sealing the transparent substrate to the backplate so that a cavity is
formed above the array of interferometric modulators, and wherein the electronic circuitry is placed in electrical communication with the array of interferometric modulators. In another embodiment, a device is provided, the device being produced by the above method.
In another embodiment, a display is provided, including means for modulating light and 5 reflecting it towards a viewer, a first means for supporting the modulating means, means for
controlling the state of the modulating means, and a second means for supporting the controlling means and providing a cavity for the modulating means.
In another embodiment, a display for an electronic device is provided, including a first transparent substrate, a first array of interferometric modulators configured to reflect light
10 through the first transparent substrate and in a first direction, a backplate sealed to the first transparent substrate and providing a cavity for the first array of interferometric modulators, wherein the backplate comprises electronic circuitry configured to control the first array of interferometric modulators, and a second transparent substrate sealed to the backplate, wherein the second transparent substrate comprises a second array of interferometric modulators
15 configured to reflect light in a second direction, and wherein the first direction and the second direction are opposite directions.
In another embodiment, a display for an electronic device is provided, including a first transparent substrate, a first array of interferometric modulators configured to reflect light through the first transparent substrate and in a first direction, a backplate sealed to the first
20 transparent substrate and providing a cavity for the first array of interferometric modulators, wherein the backplate comprises electronic circuitry configured to control the first array of interferometric modulators, and a second transparent substrate sealed to the first backplane, wherein the second transparent substrate comprises a second array of interferometric modulators configured to reflect light in a second direction, and wherein the first direction and the second
25 direction are opposite directions.
In another embodiment, a device having a display is provided, including a first transparent substrate, a first array of interferometric modulators configured to reflect light through said first transparent substrate, a second transparent substrate opposed to the first transparent substrate, and a second array of interferometric modulators configured to reflect light
30 through the second transparent substrate.
In another embodiment, a method of manufacturing a display is provided, including providing a first transparent substrate comprising a first array of interferometric modulators, providing a second transparent substrate comprising a first array of interferometric modulators, providing a backplate comprising electronic circuitry configured to control the state of the first
35 and second arrays of interferometric modulators, sealing the first transparent substrate to the backplate, sealing the second transparent substrate to the backplate, and placing the electronic
circuitry in electrical connection with the first and second arrays of interferometric modulators. In another embodiment, a display is provided, the device being manufactured by the above method.
In another embodiment, a display is provided, the display including a first means for 5 modulating light and reflecting it towards a viewer; a first means for supporting the first
modulating means; a second means for modulating light and reflecting it towards a viewer; a second means for supporting the second modulating means, means for controlling the state of said first and second modulation means, and a third means for supporting said controlling means.
10 Brief Description of the Drawings
Figure 1 is an isometric view depicting a portion of one embodiment of an
interferometric modulator display in which a movable reflective layer of a first interferometric
modulator is in a released position and a movable reflective layer of a second interferometric
modulator is in an actuated position.
15 Figure 2 is a system block diagram illustrating one embodiment of an electronic device
incorporating a 3x3 interferometric modulator display.
Figure 3 is a diagram of movable mirror position versus applied voltage for one exemplary embodiment of an interferometric modulator of Figure 1.
Figure 4 is an illustration of a set of row and column voltages that may be used to drive 20 an interferometric modulator display.
Figures 5A and 5B illustrate one exemplary timing diagram for row and column signals that may be used to write a frame of display data to the 3x3 interferometric modulator display of Figure 3.
Figure 6 A is a cross section of the device of Figure 1.
25 Figure 6B is a cross section of an alternative embodiment of an interferometric
Figure 6C is a cross section of another alternative embodiment of an interferometric modulator.
Figure 7 is an exploded view of an embodiment of a display in which a printed circuit 30 carrier is bonded to a backplate.
Figure 8A is an assembled view of an embodiment of a display in which an interferometric modulator carrier serves as the backplate and is connected to an array of interferometric modulators on a substrate.
Figure 8B is an assembled view of the embodiment of Figure 8A.
Figure 9A is a top view of the lower component of an embodiment of a display in which an interferometric modulator carrier serves as the backplate and is connected to an array of interferometric modulators on a substrate.
Figure 9B is a top view of the upper component of an embodiment of a display in which 5 an interferometric modulator carrier serves as the backplate and is connected to an array of interferometric modulators on a substrate.
Figure 10A is an assembled view of an embodiment of a display in which an
interferometric modulator carrier serves as the backplate and is internally connected to an array
of interferometric modulators on a substrate.
10 Figure 1 OB is an exploded view of the embodiment of Figure 1OA.
Figure 11 is an exploded view of an embodiment of a display in which an interferometric modulator carrier serves as a backplate, and electronic components are located on the same surface of the substrate as the array of interferometric modulators.
Figure 12 is a cross-sectional view of one embodiment of a dual-screen display in which 15 an interferometric modulator carrier is disposed between two substrates.
Figure 13 is a cross-sectional view of a dual-screen display in which a substrate can perform some of the same functions as an interferometric modulator carrier.
Figure 14 is a cross-sectional view of a dual-screen display having an annular
interferometric modulator carrier.
20 Figure 15 is a cross-sectional view of a dual-screen display without an interferometric
Figure 16 is a cross-sectional view of a device in which the interferometric modulator carrier of a display can serve as the primary structural support for the device.
Figure 17A is a perspective view of an embodiment of a display in which a contoured 25 interferometric modulator carrier serves as a backplate.
Figure 17B is a cross-sectional view of the embodiment of Figure 17A.
Figures 18A and 18B are system block diagrams illustrating an embodiment of a visual display device comprising a plurality of interferometric modulators.
30 Detailed Description of Preferred Embodiments
One embodiment of the invention is an interferometric modulator-based display, as discussed in greater detail below, wherein the backplate includes active components. Typically in an interferometric modulator, the backplate serves a purely mechanical function. Thus, fewer
constraints are placed on the materials which can be used in the backplate, and there is greater
35 freedom for layers to be combined, eliminated, and/or replaced with alternate or thinner layers.
In particular, in this embodiment the backplate may be employed to hold electronic circuitry
which controls the state of the interferometric modulator. For example, integrated circuits, such as display driver chips, may be mounted directly onto the backplate and then electrically connected to the interferometric modulator. The backplate can also be used to provide structural support for a device enclosing the display. The use of a backplate for multiple purposes 5 advantageously permits the construction of an interferometric modulator-based display which may be thinner, stronger, easier to fabricate and/or less expensive than displays based on other technologies.
Another embodiment of the invention is an interferometric modulator-based display that has two opposed screens. The backplate of one display is used to form an interferometric
10 modulator that faces in the opposite direction. This can be used, for example, in a cellular telephone that includes displays on opposite sides of the telephone. The use of the backplate to perform these functions advantageously permits the creation of dual-screen displays which are thinner, more rugged, and/or have a smaller footprint than other dual-screen displays.
The following detailed description is directed to certain specific embodiments of the
15 invention. However, the invention can be embodied in a multitude of different ways. In this description, reference is made to the drawings wherein like parts are designated with like numerals throughout. As will be apparent from the following description, the invention may be implemented in any device that is configured to display an image, whether in motion (e.g., video) or stationary (e.g., still image), and whether textual or pictorial. More particularly, it is
20 contemplated that the invention may be implemented in or associated with a variety of electronic devices such as, but not limited to, mobile telephones, wireless devices, personal data assistants (PDAs), hand-held or portable computers, GPS receivers/navigators, cameras, MP3 players, camcorders, game consoles, wrist watches, clocks, calculators, television monitors, flat panel displays, computer monitors, auto displays (e.g., odometer display, etc.), cockpit controls and/or
25 displays, display of camera views (e.g., display of a rear view camera in a vehicle), electronic photographs, electronic billboards or signs, projectors, architectural structures, packaging, and aesthetic structures (e.g., display of images on a piece of jewelry). MEMS devices of similar structure to those described herein can also be used in non-display applications such as in electronic switching devices.
30 One interferometric modulator display embodiment comprising an interferometric
MEMS display element is illustrated in Figure 1. In these devices, the pixels are in either a bright or dark state. In the bright ("on" or "open") state, the display element reflects a large portion of incident visible light to a user. When in the dark ("off' or "closed") state, the display element reflects little incident visible light to the user. Depending on the embodiment, the light
35 reflectance properties of the "on" and "off states may be reversed. MEMS pixels can be
configured to reflect predominantly at selected colors, allowing for a color display in addition to black and white.
Figure 1 is an isometric view depicting two adjacent pixels in a series of pixels of a
visual display, wherein each pixel comprises a MEMS interferometric modulator. In some
5 embodiments, an interferometric modulator display comprises a row/column array of these interferometric modulators. Each interferometric modulator includes a pair of reflective layers positioned at a variable and controllable distance from each other to form a resonant optical cavity with at least one variable dimension. In one embodiment, one of the reflective layers may be moved between two positions. In the first position, referred to herein as the released state, the
10 movable layer is positioned at a relatively large distance from a fixed partially reflective layer. In the second position, the movable layer is positioned more closely adjacent to the partially reflective layer. Incident light that reflects from the two layers interferes constructively or destructively depending on the position of the movable reflective layer, producing either an overall reflective or non-reflective state for each pixel.
15 The depicted portion of the pixel array in Figure 1 includes two adjacent interferometric
modulators 12a and 12b. In the interferometric modulator 12a on the left, a movable and highly reflective layer 14a is illustrated in a released position at a predetermined distance from a fixed partially reflective layer 16a. In the interferometric modulator 12b on the right, the movable highly reflective layer 14b is illustrated in an actuated position adjacent to the fixed partially
20 reflective layer 16b.
The fixed layers 16a, 16b are electrically conductive, partially transparent and partially reflective, and may be fabricated, for example, by depositing one or more layers each of chromium and indium-tin-oxide onto a transparent substrate 20. The layers are patterned into parallel strips, and may form row electrodes in a display device as described further below. The
25 movable layers 14a, 14b may be formed as a series of parallel strips of a deposited metal layer or layers (orthogonal to the row electrodes 16a, 16b) deposited on top of posts 18 and an intervening sacrificial material deposited between the posts 18. When the sacrificial material is etched away, the deformable metal layers are separated from the fixed metal layers by a defined air gap 19. A highly conductive and reflective material such as aluminum may be used for the
30 deformable layers, and these strips may form column electrodes in a display device.
With no applied voltage, the cavity 19 remains between the layers 14a, 16a and the deformable layer is in a mechanically relaxed state as illustrated by the pixel 12a in Figure 1. However, when a potential difference is applied to a selected row and column, the capacitor formed at the intersection of the row and column electrodes at the corresponding pixel becomes
35 charged, and electrostatic forces pull the electrodes together. If the voltage is high enough, the movable layer is deformed and is forced against the fixed layer (a dielectric material which is not
illustrated in this Figure may be deposited on the fixed layer to prevent shorting and control the separation distance) as illustrated by the pixel 12b on the right in Figure 1. The behavior is the same regardless of the polarity of the applied potential difference. In this way, row/column actuation that can control the reflective vs. non-reflective pixel states is analogous in many ways 5 to that used in conventional LCD and other display technologies.
Figures 2 through 5 illustrate one exemplary process and system for using an array of interferometric modulators in a display application. Figure 2 is a system block diagram illustrating one embodiment of an electronic device that may incorporate aspects of the invention. In the exemplary embodiment, the electronic device includes a processor 21 which may be any
10 general purpose single- or multi-chip microprocessor such as an ARM, Pentium®, Pentium II®, Pentium III®, Pentium IV®, Pentium® Pro, an 8051, a MIPS®, a Power PC®, an ALPHA®, or any special purpose microprocessor such as a digital signal processor, microcontroller, or a programmable gate array. As is conventional in the art, the processor 21 may be configured to execute one or more software modules. In addition to executing an operating system, the
15 processor may be configured to execute one or more software applications, including a web browser, a telephone application, an email program, or any other software application.
In one embodiment, the processor 21 is also configured to communicate with an array controller 22. In one embodiment, the array controller 22 includes a row driver circuit 24 and a column driver circuit 26 that provide signals to a pixel array 30. The cross section of the array
20 illustrated in Figure 1 is shown by the lines 1-1 in Figure 2. For MEMS interferometric modulators, the row/column actuation protocol may take advantage of a hysteresis property of these devices illustrated in Figure 3. It may require, for example, a 10 volt potential difference to cause a movable layer to deform from the released state to the actuated state. However, when the voltage is reduced from that value, the movable layer maintains its state as the voltage drops back
25 below 10 volts. In the exemplary embodiment of Figure 3, the movable layer does not release completely until the voltage drops below 2 volts. There is thus a range of voltage, about 3 to 7 V in the example illustrated in Figure 3, where there exists a window of applied voltage within which the device is stable in either the released or actuated state. This is referred to herein as the "hysteresis window" or "stability window." For a display array having the hysteresis
30 characteristics of Figure 3, the row/column actuation protocol can be designed such that during row strobing, pixels in the strobed row that are to be actuated are exposed to a voltage difference of about 10 volts, and pixels that are to be released are exposed to a voltage difference of close to zero volts. After the strobe, the pixels are exposed to a steady state voltage difference of about 5 volts such that they remain in whatever state the row strobe put them in. After being written,
35 each pixel sees a potential difference within the "stability window" of 3-7 volts in this example. This feature makes the pixel design illustrated in Figure 1 stable under the same applied voltage
conditions in either an actuated or released pre-existing state. Since each pixel of the interferometric modulator, whether in the actuated or released state, is essentially a capacitor formed by the fixed and moving reflective layers, this stable state can be held at a voltage within the hysteresis window with almost no power dissipation. Essentially no current flows into the 5 pixel if the applied potential is fixed.
In typical applications, a display frame may be created by asserting the set of column electrodes in accordance with the desired set of actuated pixels in the first row. A row pulse is then applied to the row 1 electrode, actuating the pixels corresponding to the asserted column lines. The asserted set of column electrodes is then changed to correspond to the desired set of
10 actuated pixels in the second row. A pulse is then applied to the row 2 electrode, actuating the appropriate pixels in row 2 in accordance with the asserted column electrodes. The row 1 pixels are unaffected by the row 2 pulse, and remain in the state they were set to during the row 1 pulse. This may be repeated for the entire series of rows in a sequential fashion to produce the frame. Generally, the frames are refreshed and/or updated with new display data by continually
15 repeating this process at some desired number of frames per second. A wide variety of protocols for driving row and column electrodes of pixel arrays to produce display frames are also well known and may be used in conjunction with the present invention.
Figures 4 and 5 illustrate one possible actuation protocol for creating a display frame on the 3x3 array of Figure 2. Figure 4 illustrates a possible set of column and row voltage levels that
20 may be used for pixels exhibiting the hysteresis curves of Figure 3. In the Figure 4 embodiment, actuating a pixel involves setting the appropriate column to -Vbia» and the appropriate row to +AV, which may correspond to -5 volts and +5 volts respectively Releasing the pixel is accomplished by setting the appropriate column to +Vbias, and the appropriate row to the same +AV, producing a zero volt potential difference across the pixel. In those rows where the row
25 voltage is held at zero volts, the pixels are stable in whatever state they were originally in, regardless of whether the column is at +Vbias, or -Vbias-
Figure 5B is a timing diagram showing a series of row and column signals applied to the 3x3 array of Figure 2 which will result in the display arrangement illustrated in Figure 5A, where actuated pixels are non-reflective. Prior to writing the frame illustrated in Figure 5A, the pixels
30 can be in any state, and in this example, all the rows are at 0 volts, and all the columns are at +5 volts. With these applied voltages, all pixels are stable in their existing actuated or released states.
In the Figure 5A frame, pixels (1,1), (1,2), (2,2), (3,2) and (3,3) are actuated. To accomplish this, during a "line time" for row 1, columns 1 and 2 are set to -5 volts, and column 3
35 is set to +5 volts. This does not change the state of any pixels, because all the pixels remain in the 3-7 volt stability window. Row 1 is then strobed with a pulse that goes from 0, up to 5 volts,
and back to zero. This actuates the (1,1) and (1,2) pixels and releases the (1,3) pixel. No other pixels in the array are affected. To set row 2 as desired, column 2 is set to -5 volts, and columns 1 and 3 are set to +5 volts. The same strobe applied to row 2 will then actuate pixel (2,2) and release pixels (2,1) and (2,3). Again, no other pixels of the array are affected. Row 3 is similarly 5 set by setting columns 2 and 3 to -5 volts, and column 1 to +5 volts. The row 3 strobe sets the row 3 pixels as shown in Figure 5A. After writing the frame, the row potentials are zero, and the column potentials can remain at either +5 or -5 volts, and the display is then stable in the arrangement of Figure 5A. It will be appreciated that the same procedure can be employed for arrays of dozens or hundreds of rows and columns. It will also be appreciated that the timing,
10 sequence, and levels of voltages used to perform row and column actuation can be varied widely within the general principles outlined above, and the above example is exemplary only, and any actuation voltage method can be used with the present invention.
The details of the structure of interferometric modulators that operate in accordance with the principles set forth above may vary widely. For example, Figures 6A-6C illustrate three
15 different embodiments of the moving mirror structure. Figure 6A is a cross section of the embodiment of Figure 1, where a strip of metal material 14 is deposited on orthogonally extending supports 18. In Figure 6B, the moveable reflective material 14 is attached to supports at the corners only, on tethers 32. In Figure 6C, the moveable reflective material 14 is suspended from a deformable layer 34. This embodiment has benefits because the structural design and
20 materials used for the reflective material 14 can be optimized with respect to the optical properties, and the structural design and materials used for the deformable layer 34 can be optimized with respect to desired mechanical properties. The production of various types of interferometric devices is described in a variety of published documents, including, for example, U.S. Published Application 2004/0051929. A wide variety of well known techniques may be
25 used to produce the above described structures involving a series of material deposition, patterning, and etching steps.
The lifetime of an interferometric modulator of the type discussed above can be greatly extended by protecting the interferometric modulator from mechanical interference, excessive moisture, and other potentially damaging substances. Embodiments of interferometric
30 modulator-based displays utilize a backplate (also referred to as a backplane) to provide this protection. For example, the edge of a backplate can be attached with adhesive near the edge of the transparent substrate to prevent mechanical interference from reaching and potentially damaging the interferometric modulator elements fabricated on the backside of the display glass. Additionally, the backplate together with its adhesive attachment to the transparent substrate
35 prevents moisture and other potentially detrimental gases, liquids and solids from reaching the interferometric modulator elements. Accordingly, the backplate can be transparent or opaque,
conductive or insulating, essentially two-dimensional or projecting appreciably into a third dimension. In one embodiment, the backplate can be made of material completely unsuitable for use as a transparent display substrate, such as an opaque metal.
It can be seen in embodiments of interferometric-based displays, the backplate need not 5 serve any role as an active or functional component of the display. Thus, a minimal set of requirements and specifications related to the functionality of the display are placed on the backplate. Consequently, there is significant freedom available in the backplate design to address other system needs and functions. Configurations in which the backplate is employed for multiple, non-packaging-related purposes are well suited for use in display-centric products
10 which incorporate MEMS-based displays and associated ancillary components.
The backplate itself can be part of the display's lighting system. Any number of RF-related functions including but not limited to shielding, passive components, and antennas can be integrated into the backplate. As described herein, the backplate can be a PC board, an electronics layer, an electrical connection component, a battery, or merely a mechanical
15 component to support or hold other components that serve various purposes in a device. The backplate can be used to implement any suitable function of the electronic product. The capabilities described above are possible since the nature of the interferometric modulator display imposes only a limited set of requirements on the backplate.
The backplate can be employed to hold electronics, and the footprint of the back plate
20 can be expanded well beyond the active display area formed by the interferometric modulator so that the backplate essentially becomes a "backbone" for and the principal structural element of the device which contains the display. In some embodiments this is desirable because the display can be made much stronger than conventional displays that require glass materials for a backplate.
25 Accordingly, it is desirable to employ the backplate to perform various device functions
or to impart desirable attributes to the devices. For example, the backplate can reduce the amount of volume consumed by components and parts in a portable electronic device by providing a means for integrating such components directly onto the backplate. By using backplate materials of increased durability the display will have increased resistance to damage by mechanical shock
30 or other means. Also, the component integration can improve portability, reduce weight, improve handling, and increase ruggedness of the device. Cost savings in the manufacturing process can be achieved by increasing the degree of integration within the device (e.g., by having components or sub-assemblies perform a greater number of functions), thereby reducing the overall number of
parts in the device.
35 The configurations of the embodiments herein can be suitable for use in display-centric
products, such as cell phones, laptop computers, digital cameras, and GPS units. Such devices are
display-centric in the sense that each relies on a flat panel display as a primary means of providing information. The display can also participate in input functions. Accordingly, the display can have an impact on the mechanical, electrical, system, and aesthetic design aspects of the product that often exceeds the contributions from the other components in the product. The 5 display is often constructed from a material, such as glass, which tends to be more fragile than the rest of the materials comprising the product. As a result, the mechanical and product design process tends to be centered on the capabilities and characteristics of the display, instead of, e.g., the processor or the battery. Many components within handheld products share similar footprints. These include PC boards, light sources, keyboards, batteries, integrated circuits, supplementary
10 or alternative flat panel displays, and others. Because they are generally planar, the design tools from which they derive produce a similar output, usually in the form of one or more photolithographic masks or other phototools. Thus, there are opportunities for increased integration and increased efficiency in the design process which can be significantly enabled by incorporating functions into the backplate.
15 In one embodiment, the packaging of a MEMS component, such as an interferometric
modulator-based display, enables mechanical support for a wide range of components, including but not limited to drivers, processors, memory, interconnect arrays, vapor barriers, the product housing, and the like. The backplate of the interferometric modulator matrix, in its simplest form, serves to provide a barrier to particles and gasses that can interfere with the functioning of
20 the array. By further imbuing the interferometric modulator backplate, or carrier, with a functionality of one or more of the remaining product components, a higher degree of integration and design efficiency can be achieved.
Embodiments of the invention provide a means for reducing the form-factor and number of components required in a MEMS-centric product without affecting the number of functions
25 performed. In one embodiment, where the MEMS is an interferometric modulator display, this is achieved as a result of the nature of the interferometric modulator array, which is monolithically fabricated on a single substrate.
Figure 7 depicts an embodiment of an interferometric modulator display device 600, shown in an exploded view. The device 600 includes a transparent substrate 602, which includes
30 an array 604 of interferometric modulators configured to reflect light that has entered through substrate 602 back through substrate 602 and onward to a viewer. An array of interferometric elements such as array 604 provides a means for modulating light and reflecting it towards a viewer. The transparent substrate 602 may comprise a layer of glass. In an alternate embodiment, the transparent substrate 602 may advantageously comprise a layer of transparent
35 polymeric material, or any other suitable sufficiently transparent material. The transparent substrate 602 thus provides a means for supporting array 604. In certain embodiments, the
transparent substrate 602 can be from about 0.7 to 0.S mm, depending on the nature of the manufacturing process and product. The device 600 also includes driver chip 612, located on the same side of substrate 602 as array 604, and placed in electrical connection with array 604 through trace leads 616a, to which driver chip 612 is directly bonded. This approach to chip 5 placement is known as chip on glass (COG). The driver chip 612 can be placed in electrical connection with external circuitry (not shown) through trace leads 616b which connect with a mounting point 624 (e.g. for a flex cable).
Located on substrate 602, and surrounding the array 604, is a seal 606, depicted here as an annular seal, under which the trace leads 616a and 616c run. The seal 606 may be referred to
10 as a seal ring, as in various embodiments, the seal 606 completely encircles the array 604. The seal 606 may be a semi-hermetic seal, such as a conventional epoxy-based adhesive. In other embodiments, the seal 606 may be a PIB, o-ring(s), polyurethane, liquid spin-on glass, solder, polymers, or plastics, among other types of seals. In still other embodiments, the seal 606 may be a hermetic seal, such as a thin film metal weld or a glass frit. In alternate embodiments, the seal
15 ring may comprise an extension of either one or both of the backplate or transparent substrate. For example, the seal ring may comprise a mechanical extension (not shown) of a backplate 608. In still other embodiments, the seal ring may comprise a separate member, such as an annular member.
Still with respect to Figure 7, the backplate 608, together with at least the seal 606 and
20 transparent substrate 602, forms a protective cavity enclosing the array 604 of interferometric modulators. Although not shown, a desiccant may be provided within the protective cavity, in order to prevent moisture buildup over the lifetime of the device. The backplate 608 may be made of any suitable material, whether transparent or opaque, conductive or insulating. Suitable materials for the backplate 608 include, but are not limited to, glass (e.g. float, 1737, soda lime),
25 plastic, ceramics, polymers, laminates, and metals and metal foils (e.g. stainless steel (SS302, SS410), Kovar, plated Kovar). In contrast to an LCD, which would require electrode arrays on both substrates, the array 604 resides on only one substrate, enabling backplate 608 to be made of a material which is thinner and/or completely different from the material used in transparent substrate 602. In one embodiment, the backplate 608 is adapted to prevent moisture from
30 entering the protective cavity and damaging the array 604. Thus, a component such as backplate 608 provides a means for protecting the array 604 from moisture and other environmental contaminants.
The use of materials other than glass in construction of the backplate can provide several advantages. Backplates formed from alternate materials which are thinner and lighter than
35 backplates formed of glass, such as stamped metal backplates, permit the creation of thinner,
lighter displays. Reducing the weight of the backplate has particular advantages with respect to portable display-centric devices, as those devices are frequently dropped. If the backplate is lighter, less force will be transferred to the frontplate upon impact with the ground. In addition, stamped metal backplates may be less expensive to produce in large quantities than glass 5 backplates.
The display also includes a printed circuit (PC) carrier 610, located on the opposite side of backplate 608 as the transparent substrate 602. The PC carrier 610 may be a PC carrier/component stack-up for a display product such as a personal digital assistant (PDA) or a cellular phone. The PC carrier 610 may be fabricated separately from the backplate 608, and
10 then bonded to the backplate.
An alternate placement is shown for driver chip 614, which is located on the upper side of PC carrier 610, and is in electrical connection with array 604 by means of trace leads 616c and 616d and flex cable 618. The flex cable 618 is mounted to PC carrier 610 and transparent substrate 602 in order to provide electrical communication between the devices on the PC carrier
15 610 and the transparent substrate 602. Driver chip 614 can be placed in electrical connection with external circuitry through trace leads 616e and external interconnect pins 622. An alternate approach to COG is known as chip on flex (COF), or tape automated bonding (TAB). Although not depicted in Figure 7, a driver chip could be bonded directly to a flex connector such as flex connector 618, and placed in electrical connection with the array 604 by trace leads running to
20 the point on the substrate on which the flex connector is mounted. PC carrier 610 also provides physical support for additional electronic components 620 (e.g. ICs and passives)which can be connected to external circuitry via external interconnect pins 622 and trace leads 616f, or in connection with driver chip 614 via trace leads 616g. Certain of these electronic components, such as driver chips 612 and 614, provide a means for controlling the state modulators within the
25 array 604.
PC carrier 610 can be a single or multilayer conductor polymer laminate which can be fabricated using any suitable technique. It can comprise one or more polymeric layers which provide structural support and/or insulation for one or more layers of interconnections comprising patterned or non-patterned conductors. The conductors provide electrical connections between
30 the different components mounted on the surface. Because PC carrier 610 can be a multilayer conductor polymer laminate, the interconnections are not limited to trace leads on a surface of the carrier as depicted in the Figure 7, but may also include alternate interconnections such as leads
located within the carrier 610.
Although the backplate 608 can provide a vapor transmission barrier sufficient to protect 35 array 604 in the embodiment of Figure 7, in alternative embodiments discussed below with
respect to other figures the functions of the backplate 608 are performed by the carrier. In such embodiments, the carrier may advantageously comprise materials which minimize or prevent vapor transmission. The skilled artisan will appreciate that PC carriers formed of FR4 will transmit water vapor at a relatively high rate. In some alternative embodiments, the PC carrier 5 610 may be formed of or include gold plated thin film metals to enhance the water vapor
transmission barrier of the carrier. Other suitable materials for the carrier 610 include, but are not limited to, ceramics, aluminum nitride, beryllium oxide, and alumina. The PC carrier 610 may be formed of a board or a flexible sheet.
The PC carrier 610 serves to support the components which are associated with the
10 display operation. The PC carrier 610 can be connected to additional PC carriers which carry components relevant to the overall operation of the product, or provide physical and electrical support to these components as well. Therefore, a component such as PC carrier 610 provides a means for supporting these electronic components. The PC carrier 610 may include electronic interfaces for use with radio-frequency (RF) signals. The skilled artisan will understand that the
15 PC carrier 610 may serve not only as protection for circuitry that is integrated into the backplane but may also enhance RF circuit needs. For example, metal caps may be included for RF enhancement or protection. Antenna properties may also be incorporated into the PC carrier 610 or the interferometric modulator array 604, including, but not limited to, the use of a metal backplane or a metal cap as an antenna for a cell phone.
20 Although for simplicity only six trace leads 616a,c are shown connecting the driver chips
612 and 614 with array 604, it will be understood that many more trace leads may be necessary for the driver chips to control the state of the array 604, depending on the size of the array. Similarly, although only three trace leads 616b,e are depicted as connecting the driver chips with external circuitry, certain embodiments may require different numbers of input trace leads.
25 Similarly, although for simplicity no trace leads are depicted in this figure as running to the top or bottom (with respect to the figure) of array 604, it will be understood that embodiments of the present invention can utilize the configurations discussed with respect to this and following figures to provide an electrical connection with any portion of the array 604 (e.g. to provide both row and column signals from driver circuitry).
30 The trace leads 616a,c (alternately and interchangeably referred to as conductive busses
or electrical traces) may comprise electrical traces formed from conductive material. These traces 616a,c may be between about 25 micrometers (um) and 1 millimeter (mm) wide, e.g., about 50 micrometers across, and may be between about 0.1 micrometers (um) to 1 micrometers
(um) thick. Larger or smaller sizes, however, are possible. The trace leads 616a,c may comprise 35 metal in some embodiments. Photolithographic, electroplating, as well as electroless techniques
may be employed to form the trace leads. In certain embodiments, a metal based slurry or silver paste may be employed. Other methods and materials may also be used to form the trace leads.
In an alternate embodiment, the backplate 608 (Figure 7) is eliminated and the PC carrier itself makes up the backplate. Figures 8A and 8B depict such a display device 650. As can be 5 seen in Figure 8A, which depicts device 650 in an assembled state, carrier 652 provides physical support for driver chips 652a and 652b, which are in electrical connection with electronic components 656a and 656b and external interconnect pins 658 via trace leads 660a, which may be located on or within carrier 652. Driver chips 654a,b are also in electrical connection with electrical feedthroughs 662 via trace leads 660b.
10 As can be seen in Figure 8B, which depicts device 650 in an exploded view, electrical
feedthroughs 662 extend from the upper surface of carrier 652 to the lower surface. When assembled, anisotropic conducting film ledge 664 provides an electrical connection between feedthroughs 662 and trace leads 660c located on the upper surface of transparent substrate 666. Trace leads 660c are in electrical contact with array 668 of interferometric modulators located on
15 the upper surface of transparent substrate 666, enabling an electrical connection between driver chips 654a,b and array 668. When device 650 is assembled, seal ring 670 forms, along with transparent substrate 666 and carrier 652, a protective cavity around array 668. Thus, a carrier such as carrier 652 provides a means for supporting electronic circuitry, such as driver circuitry, and for protecting the array 668.
20 ACF materials are conveniently employed for providing electrical interconnects between
components, and they are often used to connect the flex connector of TAB drivers to display substrates. However, other connection methods can be employed, including but not limited to zebra connectors, flex cables, bump bonds, and micromechanical pressure conductors (e.g. MEMS springs), which are described in greater detail with respect to Figure 10B.
25 In certain embodiments in which the interferometric modulator carrier 652 is formed
from materials through which vapor can permeate into the protective cavity, the interior side of interferometric modulator carrier 652 may be advantageously coated with a vapor barrier 672. In addition to, or in place of, vapor barrier 672, desiccant 674 may be provided within the protective cavity. In Figure 8B, a layer of desiccant 674 is shown below the vapor barrier 672. In
30 embodiments in which the interferometric modulator carrier 652 is made of a substrate that is sufficiently vapor resistant, no vapor barrier 672 is required.
Figures 9A and 9B depict a top view of two components, 700 and 702 that come together to make a display device similar to the device 650 shown in Figure 8. Figure 9A depicts the lower portion 700 of the two components which come together to make the display device. A
35 transparent lower substrate 704 includes an interferometric modulator array 706 which is
configured to reflect light through the substrate 704. Surrounding the outer edges of the substrate 704 and circumscribing a seal ring 708 is an ACF ledge 710 which provides electrical connections to the array 706 via trace leads 712a located on substrate 704.
Figure 9B depicts a top view of the upper portion 702 which is configured to mate with 5 the lower portion 700 and come together to make the display device. A corresponding interconnect ledge 714, located along the edge of this interferometric modulator carrier 716, circumscribes a set of electronic components 718a-d (e.g. driver chips, ICs, passives, etc.), at least some of which (718a,b in this embodiment) are electrically connected to interconnect ledge 714 via trace leads 712b. Some of electronic components 718a-d are connected to each other via
10 trace leads 712c, and connections between some electronic components 718 and external circuitry can be made via trace leads 712 and external interconnect pins 720. When the two modules are brought together, the connection between interconnect ledge 714 and ACF ledge 710 places electronic components 718a,b in electrical connection with the array 706 located on substrate 704.
15 Figures 10A and 10B depict a reduced footprint display device 750. As will be apparent
from the following discussion, the reduced footprint of device 750 is due to the elimination of ledges, such as those seen in Figures 7 and 8, on which components such as driver chips and connections were located, exterior to the protective cavity formed by the seal rings. Figure 10A shows the device 750 in an assembled state, and Figure 10B shows the device 750 in an exploded
20 view. Referring to Figure 10A the device 750 includes a transparent substrate 754 which is sealed to an interferometric modulator carrier 770 through a seal ring 764. In this embodiment, the carrier 770 acts as a backplate for the device 750.
The carrier 770 includes a first display circuit 756 which connects through a trace lead 762a to an electrical feedthrough 766. The electrical feedthrough 766 is used as a connection to
25 the interior components of the device 750 as will be explained in more detail with reference to Figure 10B. The display circuit 756 is also in electrical connection with a set of external interconnect pins 760 for connecting the display device 750 to external devices. In addition, a set of interconnect leads 762b connect the display circuit 756 to a flex cable 772 which provide an electrical connection to the interior components of the device 750.
30 Referring now to Figure 10B, the interior components of the reduced footprint display
device 750 can be seen. As shown, the transparent substrate 754 includes an interferometric modulator array 752 that is configured to reflect light through the substrate 754. Interior to the interferometric modulator array 752 are a set of conducting posts 768 which are adapted to
provide an electrical connection to a matching set of conducting pads 767a on the lower surface 35 of the carrier 770. As will be imagined, the conducting pads 767a are in communication with the
electrical feedthroughs 766 so as to provide an electrical link to the display circuit 756 (Figure 10A).
Of course it should be realized that the display circuit 756 can be connected to the conducting pads 767 through the flex cable 772. As shown, the flex cable 772 mounts to the 5 lower surface of the carrier 770 and is in electrical connection with the conducting pads 767b, which then connect to the interferometric modulator 752 through the conducting posts 768. This configuration does not require feedthroughs to be present in the carrier 770 and thus can reduce the chance that water vapor may traverse the carrier 770 and come in contact with the interferometric modulator 752.
10 Also shown is a desiccant 774 on the lower surface of the carrier 770 which acts to
absorb any moisture that may enter the protective cavity of the device.
Because contacts between the conducting posts 768 and the conducting pads 767a,b are internal to the device 750, the material characteristics of the bonds can present issues. ACF materials, which outgas during curing, can produce substances that interfere with the operation of
15 the array. Alternatives to ACF materials include low temperature solders, micromechanical pressure connectors, bump bonds, and other affixing materials which are neutral from a chemical and outgassing standpoint. In some embodiments, such as those employing vacuum packaging, the electrical feedthroughs can act as both interconnects and mechanical standoffs, or just mechanical standoffs. As mechanical standoffs, they maintain a distance between the
20 interferometric modulator array and the interferometric modulator backplate to protect against the force of external mechanical or atmospheric pressures.
Of course, while only a relatively few conducting posts are illustrated in this embodiment, it should be realized that tens, hundreds, or thousands of such posts can be fabricated within the array 752. Similarly, tens, hundreds or thousands of matching conducting
25 pads can be formed on the lower surface of the carrier 770. This allows complex electronic circuits, such as driver circuits to be connected to the array 752.
While Figure 10 depicts an embodiment using conducting support posts, a variety of structures can be utilized to place the array 752 in electrical connection with the interferometric modulator carrier 770. For instance, micromechanical pressure connectors can be used.
30 Micromechanical pressure connectors come in a variety of forms, and include conductive metallic structures that extend above the plane of the substrate because of inherent mechanical
stresses. They can be fingers or coils which when deposited and patterned reside partially on a sacrificial layer and partially on the substrate or on one or more films or structures without an intervening sacrificial layer between it and the structure. In this embodiment, during the final 35 MEMS fabrication step (the release step where the sacrificial layer is removed), the stresses in the connector cause it to displace vertically away from the substrate. If aligned properly with
conducting features on an opposing substrate or interferometric modulator carrier, they can provide an electrical interconnect which does not outgas.
It should also be understood that some or all of the driver chips could be placed on the lower surface of the carrier 770 and thereby inside of the sealed cavity formed by the carrier 770, 5 the transparent substrate 754 and the seal ring 764. In this alternate embodiment, as illustrated in Figure 10B, a circuit chip 758 is mounted on the lower surface of the carrier 770. The chip 758 is in electrical communication with the flex cable 772 via traces 762c and the conducting pads 767b via traces 762d. This allows the chip 758 to communicate with the interferometric modulator array 752 and to the display circuit 756 which is on the upper surface of the carrier 770.
10 Figure 11 depicts an embodiment of a display module 800 in which driver chips 802a and
802b are located on a transparent substrate 804, and are electrically connected via trace leads 810a to an interferometric modulator array 806, so that the driver chips 802a,b can control the state of the array 806. The driver chips 802a,b are located within a protective cavity formed when the substrate 804 is bonded to interferometric modulator carrier 814 by seal ring 816. The
15 driver chips 802a,b are electrically connected to external interconnect pins 808 via trace leads 810b and 810c, as well as flex cable 812. A configuration in which the driver chips 802a,b are located on the same surface as the array 806 may advantageously reduce the number of connections to be made with the interferometric modulator carrier 814, as a driver chip suitable for use in this display may have significantly more outputs than inputs.
20 Although not depicted, a vapor barrier and/or desiccant can be used on the interior of the
protective cavity formed by at least seal ring 816, carrier 814, and substrate 804. Additional components (not shown), including but not limited to those components previously discussed with respect to other embodiments, can be incorporated into display module 800, either on the transparent substrate 804 or on interferometric modulator carrier 814. These components can be
25 internal or external to the protective cavity formed by substrate 804, carrier 814, and seal ring 816, and connections with and between these components can be made using any of the methods discussed above with respect to previous embodiments.
Dual Sided Displays
30 A class of electronic products employs two displays integrated opposite each other so
that there are two viewable surfaces on opposing sides. This class includes "clamshell" phones, which can have a main display which acts as the primary information interface and is revealed only when the product is opened, and a sub-display, which resides on the exterior of the product and provides status information at all times. These phones make aggressive demands on product
35 integration and display module thinness.
Figure 12 illustrates dual-sided interferometric modulator based sub-display/main-display module 850. As shown, interferometric modulator array 852 resides on transparent substrate 854 and is bonded via seal ring 856 to interferometric modulator carrier 858. The carrier, 858, is subsequently bonded via seal ring 860 to transparent substrate 862, upon which interferometric 5 modulator array 864 resides. In this particular configuration, the thickness of the overall module 850 is reduced because the two displays share the same carrier 858, which can perform one or more of the functions previously described. Therefore, in certain embodiments, the carrier 858 provides a means for supporting electronic circuitry configured to control the state of array 864. Although the carrier 858 and each of the substrates 854 or 862 are depicted in Figure 12
10 as being the same size, the carrier and/or either of the substrates can extend beyond either of seal rings 856 and 860, and additional components may be located on either of these surfaces external to the seal rings. Thus, the surface area of any one of the carrier 858 or substrates 854 or 862 may be greater than the surface areas of the others. Connections between the interferometric modulators 852 and 864 and the carrier 858, as well as connections through the carrier, can be
15 made via any method or combination of methods discussed previously, including but not limited to flex cables, electrical feedthroughs, trace leads, conductive support posts, or micromechanical pressure connectors.
Another embodiment of a dual sided display 900 is shown in Figure 13. In this embodiment the interferometric modulator carrier has been eliminated. An upper transparent
20 substrate 902, bearing an upper interferometric modulator array 906 is bonded via a seal ring 910 to a lower transparent substrate 908 on its opposing side. Lower transparent substrate 904 bears a lower interferometric modulator array 908 and is configured to reflect light through the lower transparent substrate 904. Because the upper interferometric modulator array 906 (which acts as the sub-display) is smaller in size than the lower interferometric array 908, additional area
25 remains on the inner surface of upper transparent substrate 902 which may be used to support various functions that the interferometric modulator carrier would typically support in other embodiments. Thus, in certain embodiments, upper substrate 902 provides a means for supporting electronic circuitry configured to control the state of array 906. In this embodiment, upper transparent substrate 902 can be formed of a polymeric substance which is less vapor
30 resistant than glass. In order to prevent moisture buildup over the lifetime of the device, vapor barrier 912 and desiccant 914 are provided on the inner surface of substrate 902.
In other embodiments of the display 900 depicted in Figure 13, wherein electronic components such as ICs are located within the protective cavity formed by the upper and lower transparent substrates, the vapor barrier 912 and/or desiccant 914 may be applied directly or
indirectly over the electronic components. This application may be done by spray-coating or screen printing, for example, or by any other suitable method.
Figure 14 illustrates another embodiment of a dual sided display 950, wherein an upper transparent substrate 952 and interferometric modulator array 954 act as the sub-display. In this 5 embodiment, they are bonded and attached to an annular interferometric modulator carrier 956. This assembly is then bonded via a seal ring 958, to a transparent substrate 960 that is configured to pass light to an interferometric modulator array 962. As can be seen, the surface area of the substrate 952 is less than the surface area of the substrate 960. When necessary (e.g. when the annular carrier 956 comprises plastic, which is less vapor resistant than glass), a vapor barrier
10 964 and desiccant 966 may be provided.
While the module configuration shown in Figure 14 may not be as thin as that illustrated in Figure 13, it provides a greater degree of flexibility in the features that can be incorporated in the sub-display carrier plane of the module. Because carrier 956 need not be transparent, the material used can be selected based on other considerations, such as strength. Electrical
15 feedthroughs can be more easily provided through carrier 956 by passing them along the juncture between the transparent substrate 952 and the PC carrier 956. This enables placement of driver chips or other components on the upper surface of the carrier 956. Because of the height of the transparent substrate 952, components such as driver chip 968 which have heights equal to or less than the height of the substrate 952 will not add to the overall height of the device 950. Trace
20 leads 970 can run, for example, from the driver chip 968 located on the upper surface of the substrate 956 directly to the array 954, without the need for flex cables, feedthroughs, or other complex connections. Because carrier 956 can be a multilayer conductor polymer laminate, as discussed previously, leads 970 can run within the carrier 956, advantageously protecting the lead from damage. Leads 970 may advantageously comprise two leads, one on or within carrier 956
25 and placed in electrical contact with another lead on the lower surface of upper substrate 952.
Still another embodiment of a dual sided display 1000 is shown in Figure 15. Components depicted in Figure 15 include an upper transparent substrate 1002 bearing an interferometric modulator array 1006 configured to reflect light through the transparent substrate 1002. The upper transparent substrate 1002 is bonded via a sealing bead 1010 to a lower
30 transparent substrate 1004, on which interferometric modulator arrays 1008 is located.
Figure 16 illustrates an embodiment of a device 1150 (e.g. a cellular phone) comprising an interferometric modulator carrier 1152, which is bonded to a transparent substrate 1154 by means of a seal ring 1156. As can be seen from Figure 16, the surface area of carrier 1152 is larger than the surface area of substrate 1154. Driver chip 1158 is located on the upper side of
35 carrier 1152, and electrically connected via electrical feedthrough 1160 and conducting post 1162
to an array 1164 of interferometric modulators located on substrate 1154 and configured to reflect
light through substrate 1154. Located on the same side of the carrier 1152 as the driver chip
1158 and in electrical connection with driver chip 1158 via trace leads 1166 are antenna 1168,
device processor/memory 1170, battery 1172 and external interconnect hardware 1174. Located
5 on the opposite side of the carrier 1152 as the driver chip 1158 are the keyboard, keyboard
lighting, and microphone hardware, referenced collectively as 1176. Although not shown, the
keyboard and microphone hardware 1176 may be placed in electrical connection with the driver
chip 1158 on the opposite side of the carrier 1152 by any suitable method, including but not
limited to electrical feedthroughs, trace leads, and flex cables of the types discussed above.
10 As illustrated in Figure 16, carrier 1152 for the interferometric modulator 1164 is the
primary internal structural component while also acting as the electrical interconnect means. This entire assembly is encased in a shell 1166 which need not have the structural rigidity of shells used in products which isolate the display. The construction of this shell and its connection to the interferometric modulator carrier minimize the amplitude of mechanical shocks
15 transmitted to the transparent substrate 1154 and associate components, thereby increasing the product's overall ruggedness. Carrier 1152 thus becomes the "backbone" of the device.
In contrast with conventional display-centric device assembly methods, in which the strength of the device comes from the case encapsulating the device, the strength of the device can come instead from the carrier 1152 located within the device, as the carrier serves as the
20 primary structural component of the device. The increased strength of the carrier 1152 may be a result of the materials which comprise the carrier. Alternately or in addition to the choice of materials, the strength of the carrier may be the result of the dimensions of the carrier. For instance, increasing the thickness of the carrier 1152 or modifying the cross-sectional shape of the carrier can provide the strength necessary for the carrier to function as a primary structural
25 component of the device 1150. Many other configurations are possible with this technique that increases both the physical and structural role the interferometric modulator carrier plays in the product.
Figures 18A and 18B are system block diagrams illustrating another embodiment of a display device 2040. The display device 2040 can be, for example, a cellular or mobile
30 telephone. However, the same components of display device 2040 or slight variations thereof are also illustrative of various types of display devices such as televisions and portable media players.
The display device 2040 includes a housing 2041, a display 2030, an antenna 2043, a
speaker 2045, an input device 2048, and a microphone 2046. The housing 2041 is generally
35 formed from any of a variety of manufacturing processes as are well known to those of skill in
the art, including injection molding, and vacuum forming. In addition, the housing 2041 may be made from any of a variety of materials, including but not limited to plastic, metal, glass, rubber, and ceramic, or a combination thereof. In one embodiment the housing 2041 includes removable portions (not shown) that may be interchanged with other removable portions of different color, 5 or containing different logos, pictures, or symbols.
The display 2030 of exemplary display device 2040 may be any of a variety of displays, including a bi-stable display, as described herein. In other embodiments, the display 2030 includes a flat-panel display, such as plasma, EL, OLED, STN LCD, or TFT LCD as described above, or a non-flat-panel display, such as a CRT or other tube device, as is well known to those 10 of skill in the art. However, for purposes of describing the present embodiment, the display 2030 includes an interferometric modulator display, as described herein.
The components of one embodiment of exemplary display device 2040 are schematically illustrated in Figure 18B. The illustrated exemplary display device 2040 includes a housing 2041 and can include additional components at least partially enclosed therein. For example, in one
15 embodiment, the exemplary display device 2040 includes a network interface 2027 that includes an antenna 2043 which is coupled to a transceiver 2047. The transceiver 2047 is connected to the processor 2021, which is connected to conditioning hardware 2052. The conditioning hardware 2052 may be configured to condition a signal (e.g. filter a signal). The conditioning hardware 2052 is connected to a speaker 2045 and a microphone 2046. The processor 2021 is also
20 connected to an input device 2048 and a driver controller 2029. The driver controller 2029 is coupled to a frame buffer 2028 and to the array driver 2022, which in turn is coupled to a display array 2030. A power supply 2050 provides power to all components as required by the particular exemplary display device 2040 design.
The network interface 2027 includes the antenna 2043 and the transceiver 2047 so that
25 the exemplary display device 2040 can communicate with one or more devices over a network. In one embodiment the network interface 2027 may also have some processing capabilities to relieve requirements of the processor 2021. The antenna 2043 is any antenna known to those of skill in the art for transmitting and receiving signals. In one embodiment, the antenna transmits and receives RF signals according to the IEEE 802.11 standard, including IEEE 802.11(a), (b), or
30 (g). In another embodiment, the antenna transmits and receives RF signals according to the BLUETOOTH standard. In the case of a cellular telephone, the antenna is designed to receive CDMA, GSM, AMPS or other known signals that are used to communicate within a wireless cell phone network. The transceiver 2047 pre-processes the signals received from the antenna 2043 so that they may be received by and further manipulated by the processor 2021. The transceiver
2047 also processes signals received from the processor 2021 so that they may be transmitted from the exemplary display device 2040 via the antenna 2043.
In an alternative embodiment, the transceiver 2047 can be replaced by a receiver. In yet
another alternative embodiment, network interface 2027 can be replaced by an image source,
5 which can store or generate image data to be sent to the processor 2021. For example, the image
source can be a digital video disc (DVD) or a hard-disc drive that contains image data, or a
software module that generates image data.
Processor 2021 generally controls the overall operation of the exemplary display device 2040. The processor 2021 receives data, such as compressed image data from the network
10 interface 2027 or an image source, and processes the data into raw image data or into a format that is readily processed into raw image data. The processor 2021 then sends the processed data to the driver controller 2029 or to frame buffer 2028 for storage. Raw data typically refers to the information that identifies the image characteristics at each location within an image. For example, such image characteristics can include color, saturation, and gray-scale level.
15 In one embodiment, the processor 2021 includes a microcontroller, CPU, or logic unit to
control operation of the exemplary display device 2040. Conditioning hardware 2052 generally includes amplifiers and filters for transmitting signals to the speaker 2045, and for receiving signals from the microphone 2046. Conditioning hardware 2052 may be discrete components within the exemplary display device 2040, or may be incorporated within the processor 2021 or
20 other components.
The driver controller 2029 takes the raw image data generated by the processor 2021 either directly from the processor 2021 or from the frame buffer 2028 and reformats the raw image data appropriately for high speed transmission to the array driver 2022. Specifically, the driver controller 2029 reformats the raw image data into a data flow having a raster-like format,
25 such that it has a time order suitable for scanning across the display array 2030. Then the driver controller 2029 sends the formatted information to the array driver 2022. Although a driver controller 2029, such as a LCD controller, is often associated with the system processor 2021 as a stand-alone Integrated Circuit (IC), such controllers may be implemented in many ways. They may be embedded in the processor 2021 as hardware, embedded in the processor 2021 as
30 software, or fully integrated in hardware with the array driver 2022.
Typically, the array driver 2022 receives the formatted information from the driver controller 2029 and reformats the video data into a parallel set of waveforms that are applied many times per second to the hundreds and sometimes thousands of leads coming from the display's x-y matrix of pixels.
In one embodiment, the driver controller 2029, array driver 2022, and display array 2030 are appropriate for any of the types of displays described herein. For example, in one embodiment, driver controller 2029 is a conventional display controller or a bi-stable display controller (e.g., an interferometric modulator controller). In another embodiment, array driver 5 2022 is a conventional driver or a bi-stable display driver (e.g., an interferometric modulator display). In one embodiment, a driver controller 2029 is integrated with the array driver 2022. Such an embodiment is common in highly integrated systems such as cellular phones, watches, and other small area displays. In yet another embodiment, display array 2030 is a typical display array or a bi-stable display array (e.g., a display including an array of interferometric
The input device 2048 allows a user to control the operation of the exemplary display device 2040. In one embodiment, input device 2048 includes a keypad, such as a QWERTY keyboard or a telephone keypad, a button, a switch, a touch-sensitive screen, a pressure- or heat-sensitive membrane. In one embodiment, the microphone 2046 is an input device for the
15 exemplary display device 2040. When the microphone 2046 is used to input data to the device, voice commands may be provided by a user for controlling operations of the exemplary display device 2040.
Power supply 2050 can include a variety of energy storage devices as are well known in the art. For example, in one embodiment, power supply 2050 is a rechargeable battery, such as a
20 nickel-cadmium battery or a lithium ion battery. In another embodiment, power supply 2050 is a renewable energy source, a capacitor, or a solar cell, including a plastic solar cell, and solar-cell paint. In another embodiment, power supply 2050 is configured to receive power from a wall outlet.
In some implementations control programmability resides, as described above, in a driver
25 controller which can be located in several places in the electronic display system. In some cases control programmability resides in the array driver 2022. Those of skill in the art will recognize that the above-described optimization may be implemented in any number of hardware and/or software components and in various configurations.
30 Contoured Backplates
In yet another exemplary embodiment, the backplate comprises a shaped printed circuit board or other shaped interferometric modulator carrier. Figures 17A and 17B depict an embodiment of a device 1200 comprising a shaped backplate 1228. As can be seen in Figure 17A, the backplate 1228 has a central region 1230 that is domed. This domed central region
35 1230 is surrounded by a perimeter region 1226 that is substantially flatter.
In the embodiment of Figures 17A and 17B, the backplate 1228 comprises a printed circuit board (PCB). This printed circuit board is curved such that a cavity 1250 (see Figure 17B) within the device 1200 is sufficiently large to accommodate an array 1210 of modulators housed therein. In embodiments using a PCB for the backplate 1228, the shaped cavity 1250 may be 5 formed by stamping the PCB backplate 1228 or any other suitable method for shaping or cutting a PCB. In alternate embodiments, the backplate 1228 may comprise glass or a glass compound, which is substantially impermeable to moisture. If made of glass, the shaped central region 1230 of the backplate may be formed by sandblasting or any other suitable glass shaping or cutting method.
10 In the embodiment shown in Figure 17A, an electrical component 1260 is mounted to the
backplate 1228. A set of trace leads 1240 extend from holes 1234 in a perimeter region 1226 of the backplate 1228 and are electrically connected to the electrical component 1260. Leads 1262 from the electrical component 1260 may, for example, be soldered to the trace leads 1240. As will be discussed further with respect to Figure 17B, the holes 1234 comprise vias 1242 which
15 enable an electrical connection to be made between the upper and lower surfaces of backplate 1228. In one exemplary embodiment, the electrical component 1260 is a driver chip that is configured to control the state of modulators in the array 1210. In other embodiments, the electrical component could be any variety of electrical components or devices, including but not limited to other integrated circuits, other passive and active electrical structures or components,
20 or other surface-mounted electronics such as transistors, capacitors, resistors, diodes, inductors, etc.
Now with respect to Figure 17B, it can be seen that attaching the backplate 1228 to a substrate 1216 forms a cavity 1250 in the package structure 1200. The array 1210 of modulators is housed in this cavity 1250 between the backplate 1228 and the substrate 1216. As described
25 above, the backplate 1228 is domed. The curvature of the domed central region 1230 also produces a recess 1252 where the distance between the backplate 1228 and the substrate 1216 is greater than in other parts of the cavity 1250. The cavity 1250 is thus advantageously enlarged in the central region 1230 where the array 1210 of modulators is disposed.
Room for unimpeded operation of the modulators the array 1210 is thereby provided.
30 Although the central region 1230 of the backplate 1228 is depicted as domed, numerous other shapes are also within the scope of the invention. For example, the backplate 1228 may have a curved or recessed shape that is not necessarily limited to the central region 1230 or may have other shapes such as a ribbed design or a raised rectangular design. In one embodiment, the edges of the backplate 1228 are beveled so that they provide a lower profile. As long as at least a
35 portion of the modulators in the array 1210 are within an enlarged region or cavity of the
backplate 1228, then the desired room for unimpeded operation of the that portion of the array 1210 is provided.
A plurality of through holes 1234 are formed in the perimeter region 1226. The holes 1234 are staggered in the embodiment shown in Figure 17B. Separation between alternating 5 holes 1234 may be between about 50 to 75 micrometers in some designs. In other embodiments, wherein the holes 1234 are not staggered, the pitch may also be between about 75 to 125 micrometers (um). The backplate 1228 may have a thickness of between about 0.5 and 2.0 millimeters (mm) and thus the through holes will also be the same depth so as to penetrate
completely through the backplate 1228. Values outside these ranges, however, are also within 10 the scope of the invention.
The number and configuration of holes 1234 can vary in different embodiments of the invention. For example, in one embodiment the holes 1234 may be in the domed or recessed
central region 1230 of the backplate 1228. Placement of the holes 1234 will depend on the specific functionality desired. The exact position, and combinations of positions, of the holes
15 1234, are within the skill in the art. The holes 1234 may be formed by mechanically drilling, laser drilling, or ultrasonic drilling, for example. Other standard methods of forming the holes 1234 may also be employed.
Figure 17B also shows the electrical traces 1240 disposed on, and traversing, the printed circuit board backplate 1228. An electrical connection is formed between the backplate 1228 and
20 the spatial modulator, as described above (see Figure 17A). For example, in the embodiment shown, the electrical traces 1240 contact vias 1242 that pass through the printed circuit board backplate 1228. The yias 1242 may be, for example, plated vias fabricated in any manner well known in the printed circuit board field. Solder 1244 between the vias 1242 and a set of electrical pads 1246 on the substrate 1216 provides a conductive pathway therebetween. As a
25 result of these electrical connections, the electrical traces 1240 on the PCB backplate 1228 are in electrical communication with the electrodes in the array 1210 of modulators. As described above, a wide variation in the designs of and processes for fabricating the electrical connection between the PCB backplate 1228 the modulator array 1210 are possible.
As illustrated in 17B, the PCB backplate 1228 may comprise a multilayer structure. For
30 example, a metallization layer 1264 can be embedded in the printed circuit board backplate 1228. This metallization layer 1264 is electrically connected to one of the traces 1240 by a conducting plug 1266 as is conventional in multilayer printed circuit boards. Other approaches to
manufacturing a multilayered backplane may be employed. Additional conductive paths may be
provided in this manner. For example, in one exemplary embodiment (not depicted) the electrical 35 traces may be an integral part of the PCB backplate. In this embodiment, the electrical traces
may be embedded in the PCB backplate by conventional multilayering of the PCB backplate 1228. These electrical traces can be configured in many ways, including, but not limited to, the electrical traces being in electrical communication vias and/or the electrical pads. In addition, the electrical traces 1240 can be in electrical communication with individual modulators or in direct 5 electrical communication with the entire array or subportions thereof.
In the embodiment depicted in Figure 17B, a desiccant 1254 is positioned between the array 1210 of optical modulators and the backplate 1228. The recessed portion of the backplate 1228 offers increased clearance for the desiccant 1254 to be disposed in the cavity 1250 without interfering with the operation of the array 1210.
10 The desiccant 1254 may have different shapes, forms, and sizes and may be applied in
different ways. In the embodiment shown in Figure 17B, this desiccant 1254 comprises a sheet that is mounted to the backplate 1228 with adhesive. Specifically, the desiccant 1254 is adhered to the central region 1230 of the backplate 1228. Advantageously, the recess created by the curvature of the front side of the backplate 1228 provides space for the desiccant 1254 above the
15 modulator array 1210.
The package structure 1200 enhances performance of the modulators in multiple ways as well. Integration of electrical busses 1240 on the outside of the package structure 1200 offer a wide range of design possibilities that may enable enhancements of the performance of the array 1210 or provide additional features. For example, electrical busses can be arranged such that one
20 end of the bus connects to one end of a row or column electrode within the array, and the other end of the bus connects to the other end of the same row or column electrode. This connection adds a parallel conduction path to the row or column, reducing the overall resistance of the row or column.
Advantageously, the conductive busses 1240 provide a relatively high conductivity
25 connection to the array 1210 of optical modulators. The conductive busses 1240 can be fabricated with larger dimensions (e.g., width and thickness) than the electrodes that connect the modulators in the array 1210. This enhanced conductivity and, thus, reduced impedance, allows the optical modulators in the array 1210 to be driven faster. In addition, since the conductive busses 1240 are outside of the package if they are mounted on the outer surface 1232 of the
30 package structure 1200, precious real estate within the cavity 1250 where the array 1210 of modulators is located, is not sacrificed. Interference with the mechanical operation of the array 1210 of interferometric modulators is also avoided. The package structure 1200 may also afford other advantages are not specifically recited herein.
Other configurations of the conductive busses 1240 may be utilized in other 35 embodiments. For example, the conductive busses 1240 may follow different pathways and may
be connected differently. The specific geometry may be altered depending on the designs or desired function. For example, in one exemplary embodiment (not depicted), a portion of the holes 1234 are placed on the domed region 1230 of the backplate 1228 and the conductive busses 1240 are in electrical communication with at least a portion of the modulators in the array 1210 5 that are below the respective holes 1234. This embodiment may be useful for performing testing on certain portions of the array 1210.
While the above detailed description has shown, described, and pointed out novel features of the invention as applied to various embodiments, it will be understood that various omissions, substitutions, and changes in the form and details of the device or process illustrated 10 may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the invention. As will be recognized, the present invention may be embodied within a form that does not provide all of the features and benefits set forth herein, as some features may be used or practiced separately from others.
Claims WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. An electronic display device, comprising:
means for modulating light and reflecting said light towards a viewer; a first means for supporting said modulating means ; means for controlling the state of said modulating means; and a second means for supporting said controlling means, wherein said second supporting means provides a cavity for said modulating means.
2. The display device of claim 1, wherein the first supporting means comprises a transparent substrate.
3. The display device of claim 1 or 2, wherein the modulating means comprises an array of interferometric modulators configured to reflect light through said first supporting means.
4. The display device of claim 1, 2, or 3, wherein the second supporting means comprises a backplate sealed to said first supporting means.
5. The display device of claim 1, 2, 3, or 4, wherein said controlling means comprises electronic circuitry located on said second supporting means and in electrical connection with the modulating means.
6. The display device of claim 1, wherein the controlling means is located outside of the cavity.
7. The display device of claim 1, wherein the controlling means is located inside of the cavity.
8. The display device of claim 3, wherein said interferometric modulators comprise a plurality of internal connectors, and wherein said internal connectors are configured to provide an electrical connection to said controlling means.
9. The display device of claim 8, wherein the internal connectors comprise metal bumps.
10. The display device of claim 8, wherein the internal connectors comprise conductive posts.
11. The display device of claim 4, wherein said backplate comprises a printed circuit board.
12. The display device of claim 11, wherein said printed circuit board comprises a vapor barrier.
13. The display device of claim 5, wherein said electronic circuitry comprises a display driver circuit.
14. The display device of claim 2, wherein said transparent substrate comprises glass.
15. The display device of claim 3, wherein said array of interferometric modulators are configured to reflect multiple colors of light.
16. The display device of claim 4, wherein a surface area of said backplate is greater than a surface area of said first supporting means.
17. The display device of claim 4, wherein said backplate is configured to function as a primary structural component of the display device.
18. The display device of claim 4, additionally comprising electronic circuitry configured to control the display device, wherein said backplate provides physical support for at least some of said electronic circuitry.
19. The display device of claim 1, wherein said display device is a cellular telephone.
20. The display device of claim 4, further comprising a second transparent substrate sealed to said backplate, wherein said second transparent substrate comprises a second array of interferometric modulators configured to reflect light in a second direction, and wherein said first direction and said second direction are opposite directions.
21. The display device of claim 20, wherein said backplate comprises electronic circuitry configured to control the states of said first and second arrays of interferometric modulators.
22. The display device of claim 20, wherein said backplate comprises an annular backplate.
23. The display device of claim 1, additionally comprising a layer of desiccant.
24. The display device of claim 4, wherein said backplate comprises a shaped region, a substantially planer perimeter region, and a plurality of conductive paths that
provide electrical connectivity to the interferometric modulators, wherein at least one electrical component is electronically coupled to at least one of the conductive paths.
25. The display device of claim 24, wherein the backplate comprises a backside facing an exterior of the display device, and wherein the conductive paths are conductive busses disposed on said backside.
26. The display device of claim 25, further comprising conductive vias that traverse the backplate, and wherein the conductive busses are in electrical communication with the interferometric modulators through the vias.
27. The display device of claim 26, wherein at least a portion of the interferometric modulators are disposed underneath the shaped region of the backplate.
28. The display device of claim 1, further comprising:
a processor that is in electrical communication with said modulating means, said processor being configured to process image data; and
a memory device in electrical communication with said processor.
29. The display device of claim 28, further comprising:
a controller configured to send at least a portion of said image data to said controlling means, wherein said controlling means comprises a driver circuit.
30. The display device of claim 28, further comprising: Q I
31. image source module configured to send image data to said processoiflThe
display device of claim 30, wherein said image source module comprises at least one of a receiver, transceiver, and transmitter.
32. The display device of claim 28, further comprising:
an input device configured to receive input data and to communicate said input data to said processor.
33. A method of manufacturing a display device, comprising:
providing a transparent substrate comprising an array of interferometric modulators;
providing a backplate comprising electronic circuitry configured to control said array of interferometric modulators; and
sealing said transparent substrate to said backplate so that a cavity is formed above said array of interferometric modulators, and wherein said electronic circuitry is placed in electrical communication with said array of
34. The method of claim 33, wherein said transparent substrate comprises glass.
35. The method of claim 33, wherein said transparent substrate comprises a polymeric material.
36. The method of claim 33, wherein said electronic circuitry comprises a driver circuit.
37. The method of claim 33, wherein said backplate comprises a printed circuit board.
38. The method of claim 33, wherein sealing said transparent substrate to said backplate comprises placing a sealant material between said transparent substrate and said backplate.
39. The method of claim 33, further comprising sealing a second transparent substrate to said backplate, wherein said second transparent substrate comprises a second array of interferometric modulators configured to reflect light in a second direction, and wherein said first direction and said second direction are opposite directions.
40. The method of claim 39, wherein said electronic circuitry is configured to control the states of said first and second arrays of interferometric modulators.
41. The method of claim 33, wherein said backplate comprises a shaped region and a substantially planer perimeter region.
42. The method of claim 41 wherein at least a portion of the array is disposed underneath the shaped region of the backplate.
43. The method of claim 33, wherein said electronic circuity comprises a plurality of conductive paths configured to provide electrical communication to at least a portion of the array.
44. The method of claim 43, wherein the backplate comprises a backside facing an exterior of the display device, and wherein the conductive paths are conductive busses disposed on said backside.
45. The method of claim 44, wherein the backplate further comprises conductive vias that traverse the backplate, and wherein the conductive busses are in electrical communication with at least a portion of the array through the vias.
46. The method of claim 43, further comprising electrically coupling at least one electrical component to at least one of the conductive paths.
47. The method of claim 46, wherein said at least one electrical component comprises a display driver circuit.
48. A display device manufactured by the method of claim 33.
49. The display device of claim 48, wherein said backplate comprises a printed circuit board.
50. The display device of claim 49, wherein said printed circuit board comprises a vapor barrier.
51. The display device of claim 48, wherein said array of interferometric modulators are configured to reflect multiple colors of light.
52. The display device of claim 48, wherein said display device is a cellular
53. An electronic display device and a method are substantially as herein described with reference to accompanying drawings.
Dated this 5th day of September, 2005.
A MEMS-based display device is described, wherein an array of interferometric 5 modulators are configured to reflect light through a transparent substrate. The transparent substrate is sealed to a backplate and the backplate can contain electronic circuitry for controlling the array of interferometric modulators. The backplate can provide physical support for device components, such as electronic components which can be used to control the state of the display. The backplate can also be utilized as a primary structural support for the device. 10
|Indian Patent Application Number||1151/MUM/2005|
|PG Journal Number||01/2012|
|Date of Filing||21-Sep-2005|
|Name of Patentee||QUALCOMM MEMS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.|
|Applicant Address||3055 BADGER DRIVE, PLEASANTON, CALIFORNIA 94566, U.S.A.|
|PCT International Classification Number||G02B26/00|
|PCT International Application Number||N/A|
|PCT International Filing date|