AMOLED Display vs. PMOLED Display

AMOLED display and PMOLED display are two subtypes of OLED display technology based on an underlying principle of addressing pixels. The former stands for active matrix organic light-emitting diode or active matrix OLED while the latter corresponds to passive matrix OLED.

What is the Difference Between AMOLED display and PMOLED display? What are Active Matrix and Passive Matrix Addressing Schemes?

The primary difference between an AMOLED display and a PMOLED display centers on the scheme used in controlling or addressing the diodes or pixels.

An active matrix OLED uses a thin-film transistor or TFT backplane to access and switch on or off the individual pixel directly.

Essentially, an active matrix addressing scheme involves attaching a transistor and capacitor to each diode or pixel to maintain the pixel state while addressing other pixels actively.

On the other hand, a passive matrix OLED does not control the pixels individually. In a passive matrix addressing scheme, each row and line containing pixels within the display is controlled sequentially and one-by-one

An AMOLED display essentially uses an active matrix scheme to address individual pixels while a PMOLED display is based on a simpler addressing scheme called passive matrix that addresses pixels by sequence.

Take note that the TFT backplane in an AMOLED contains a storage capacitor for maintaining active pixel sates. However, a PMOLED does not contain a storage capacitor. The pixels in each row or line are inactive most of the time.

Which is Better Between an AMOLED display and PMOLED display? What are their Respective Advantages and Disadvantages?

Take note that both AMOLED display and PMOLED display also share the same general advantages and disadvantages of OLED display technology. However, they each have their respective pros and cons or benefits and drawbacks.

A key advantage of AMOLED over PMOLED is the size. The TFT backplane responsible for maintaining active pixel states and controlling pixels individually enables physically larger and high-resolution OLED displays.

Meanwhile, PMOLED displays are usually smaller in size and lower in resolution because of the inherent disadvantage of the passive matrix addressing scheme. For starters, manufacturing a bigger PMOLED display means adding in more roes or lines that in turn, translate to higher voltage requirement.

The organic materials in a PMOLED suffer from lower lifespan because of constant exposure to high voltage. Hence, the passive matrix addressing scheme makes OLED display technology considerably inefficient and limited.

However, it is worth mentioning that a critical advantage of PMOLED over AMOLED is that it is easier to fabricate and cheaper to manufacture. The passive matrix addressing scheme is ideal for use in smaller devices such as watches or table clocks and compact media players, as well as in inexpensive consumer electronic devices.

A notable disadvantage of AMOLED display is that it is expensive and more complicated to manufacture. Thus, the active matrix OLED technology is ideal for use in smartphones, tablet computers, and televisions.

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