Display cables – what are the options?

May 25, 2016  /  Press Release , Cable Assemblies

The use of displays in both consumer and industrial electronics is increasing on an almost exponential basis.

When designing a display module into OEM equipment it is important to determine the cable assembly needed to connect the display to the PCB early on in the design process, as opposed to leaving it as an afterthought.

There are a variety of different connectivity options for displays and there are a number of factors that will determine the most appropriate choice. Where the overall cable assembly required does not exceed 7” (178mm) then an FFC (flat flexible cable) or FPC (flexible printed circuit) cable will be perfectly adequate. For longer cables where the signal integrity could be compromised then LVDS (low voltage differential signal) or eDP (embedded DisplayPort) cables are recommended.

LVDS cables utilise twisted pair wires and can transmit effective signals of distances up to 10 metres. The connectors are typically fine pitch (often under 1 mm), and accept small gauge wires. LVDS cables are extremely low profile and flexible allowing them to be routed through very tight gaps. If space is at a premium, small form factor LVDS cables are the ideal choice.

eDP cables are starting to supersede LVDS cables as the popular choice for connecting driver boards to TFT displays. The assemblies are made up of micro-coax cables as opposed to twisted pair wire. The advantage of eDP cables is their lower overall cable count. Power data and control signals can be transmitted via one single cable assembly using typically 30% fewer cables than in an equivalent LVDS assembly.

If touchscreen functionality is required, which is particularly popular in consumer electronics, then capacitive touch cables are used to connect the display to the PCB. These are small form factor cables, using fine pitch connectors and take up minimum space.

Find out more about our display cables