The SID DisplayWeek 2020, the premier event for the display industry, will take place in San Francisco (June 7-12). The OLED-Info team will attend this event, and we are happy to present this interview with Sri Peruvemba to discuss the upcoming event. Sri is a good friend and a board director and VP at SID.
Thanks for your time Sri - as Chair of Marketing at SID, please can you tell us a bit about DisplayWeek 2020?
I am proud to say that SID’s DisplayWeek is still the world’s most respected show on electronic displays, touchscreens and related materials. Everyone in the industry has a presence. The show has been growing for the past few years and last year we had a record attendance of over 8,000 people from all over the world. Factoring in global business and political environment, we expect DW2020 to be another record year evidenced by paper submissions, awards submissions, over 90% of the floor space sold out (we had expanded both floor space and meeting rooms), offers to sponsor various events and other factors.
We expect to see many industry firsts being showcased at the event, both via the technical symposium as well as demos on the show floor. We are excited about the CEO forum and Women in Technology forum both of which have seen increased attendance rates over the past 3 years. SID as an organization is stronger than it has been in the past several years as a result of DisplayWeek events being successful and growing.
Throughout the year I hear companies refer back to DisplayWeek as the venue where they struck a new deal, convinced a Fortune 100 customer, hired key executives, learnt something that changed the course of their company, this is precisely why we host this event as a service to the industry, we have hundreds of volunteers that continue to serve and give back to the industry.
Displayweek can be busy (you should know - you're probably the busiest one there) - what tips can you give so that our readers can maximize their experience?
This is my 23rd Displayweek, until about two years ago, my response to your question citing personal experience would have been - “Do everything, start with breakfast meetings and go until past midnight, you can sleep the following week”. I would go to 4-5 dinners per night, would run (literally) between meetings, I had no idea whether I was coming or going, the whole week was a blur. In the past two years, I started doing what experienced people do – plan. First, I make a list of goals I want to achieve, then I make a list of my must do’s, obviously I have to go to the events where I am speaking or moderating, create a calendar of activities, and do this a week prior so you get the most out of DisplayWeek. If you are pursuing a technical career, the symposiums, the poster sessions and seeing the relevant exhibits are a must.
If you are pursuing a career in HR, Marketing, Supply Chain, Sales, the exhibit floor is important, the CEO forum and Women in Tech events would be valuable, the networking events both the formal ones and informal ones can bring you to interesting forks in the road. Attend the award ceremonies where we celebrate breakthrough products and amazing scientists and leaders, be inspired.
There are some simple but practical tips that might be useful to newbies. Eat a healthy breakfast assuming that you might miss lunch, carry a meal replacement energy bar if you want to use your lunch hour to walk the show floor, seek formal meetings a month in advance, since some of our calendars are full a few days before the show opens, keep your meetings to no more than 30 minutes, say No to all meeting requests from people who are from your town (you would be amazed at how many people from Silicon Valley want to meet with me and they are usually greeted with a polite no and a suggestion that we meet the following week), make the time to see every exhibit – I am always pleasantly surprised to see something that I hadn’t expected from a booth that I knew less about, pencil in those presentations that are important to you, find the time to learn about a topic that you know nothing about, wear walking shoes- heck with the formal/uncomfortable ones, limit your partying if you want to make it to the breakfast meeting next morning, write notes, take a ton of pictures, leave gaps in your calendar to catch a breather and for that unexpected meeting.
In short, if you only plan for 80% of what you think your bandwidth is, you will have a great show. I used to plan for 110% and made the plan by cutting down on sleep, not a good idea. Don’t forget to make 10 new friends and renew friendships with people you have known in the industry. Seek but also contribute to the industry, I have lots of volunteer opportunities for people willing to give back. DisplayWeek is a fun event, you can do business, fill your pocket with money, fill your head with knowledge and your heart with joy.
In previous years we have seen some "shift of power" from Korean display makers to Chinese ones - and this reflected at SID's booth and demos. Do you expect this trend to continue in 2020?
Its been going on for decades, I used to work for Standish Industries, a pioneer in LCD technology, based in Wisconsin (within a few miles of where Foxconn plans to build a new fab), this fab like many others moved to Asia and in some sense the display manufacturing left N America and Europe, bound for Japan and Korea, soon after Taiwan emerged as the manufacturing expert for displays, now its China giving the world a run for its money. It is also interesting to note that the larger Chinese manufacturers are facing pressure from new comers in China, there is sufficient interest in building automated fabs closer to the customer like in the case of the Wisconsin fab, the industry is in a constant state of flux and the consumer has benefited by this competition to create new technologies with features that we could not have even imagined just a few years ago, and at prices that never cease to amaze me.
I am particularly pleased to see a strong display centric culture among the end device makers in the USA (think Apple, Google, Microsoft), strong material focused innovation in Japan, OLED center of excellence in Korea, technology innovation in Taiwan, emerging display technology companies all over Europe and each year brings many more pleasant surprises along with some consolidation accompanied sadness. We are visual creatures, displays will continue their forward progress with increasing speed and we will have more displays than ever before.
OLEDs are now an established technology - but progress is still fast. Which OLED technologies are you most excited about?
You are correct in that the technology is still advancing; we have received several papers that will reveal what is expected in the next 3 years. I am excited about what is happening with TADF materials, both by established players and new comers, I am excited about microOLED displays and the role they will play in the upcoming new wave of computing, new materials and manufacturing technologies promise a much higher resolution, longer life, high bright OLEDs in AR/VR, in TV ofcourse as well as in automotive applications. In the past when you said ‘flexible display’, I always thought of ePaper but OLEDs are actually shipping in flexible substrates in mass market products, this technology has literally enabled the foldable phone/tablet with many many more applications to come. So OLEDs are not just pretty pictures with vivid colors but they will revolutionize consumer electronic devices and will delight designers everywhere.
2Kx2K MicroLED. photo courtesy: eMagin Corp
MicroLED displays are getting more and more focus from display makers - do you believe this technology has the potential to revolutionize our industry in the near future?
I do indeed. LEDs have dominated the outdoor display/signage space for decades, now they are moving indoors displacing LCD, they have advantages over LCD in that they can be tiled to almost any size, they are bright, super fast response time, longer life materials, they can be shaped/curved, overall they give a very satisfactory performance particularly for advertisers that will pay for some of the costs. Our TVs and indoor signs will be changed forever. MicroLEDs are not quite here yet, a few miniLEDs are being labeled as MicroLEDs and they are already impressive, and MicroLEDs will change the landscape. Historically the size of the individual LEDs and hence the resolution had held back this technology but with micro LED mass transfer technology, this problem is solved.
MicroLED Display. Photo courtesy: X Display Company
You have focused on e-Paper displays for many years. What are your thoughts on this market?
ePaper continues to enable a dozen new applications each year, one or two of them will likely see commercial success. Today eReaders and Electronic Shelf Labels are shipping in the millions, and a dozen other applications are vying to breakout of pilot successes. I would lay my bet on electronic writing tablets that are low power, look and more importantly feel like paper when you write on it, minimized lag so your writing speed is not faster than the display update and sync with all of your other electronic devices. ePaper is already making great strides in the work place transformation applications as well as outdoor signage. I continue to believe in eSchoolbooks as the next generation of devices that can create a mass market opportunity – the devices today aren’t quite elegant, the eco-system for content and delivery is being developed but there is interest globally to make this happen.
Workplace Transformation Display. Photo courtesy: Visionect
Any other thoughts and hopes regarding this year's event?
We expect some new programs to do well and some existing programs to grow. Last year we launched the YES program – Young Engineers Spotlight- with videos introducing up and coming stars in our industry this year we will expand that with a dinner outing for students and newly minted scientists and engineers in our industry. Dr Radu Reit, Vice Chair of Marketing for SID is leading this effort and has great plans for its success.
Dr Tara Akhavan, also Vice Chair of Marketing for SID is spearheading the Women in Technology forum which has attracted worldclass panelists and sponsors. This program is really for us men, the women in our industry already understand the issues. SID is making progress, for example our Bay Area SID team is comprised of 50% women officers. Expect another great panel discussion followed by tremendous networking opportunity at the reception.
The Exhibitors forum is not often talked about, this is another great opportunity for the attendees to learn more about various exhibitors, the underlying technology behind the demos and the progress each of these worldclass companies are making.
The I-Zone led by Mr. Harit Doshi, CEO of Omniply is expected to be a crowd pleaser, in the past few years this has become the go-to section in our exhibit hall to see university research, very early stage companies, technologies that are emerging and some of which will dominate our industry in a few years.
We will have more press at the event, we will have more exhibitors, we will have more startup companies, there is no other event in the world of displays that has a better technical symposium or business opportunity. I look forward to seeing Roni and yourself at the event along with thousands of industry colleagues to once again celebrate the display industry that we love.
Thanks Sri! Looking forward to meeting you too soon at DisplayWeek!