Passive matrix addressing

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Passive matrix addressing is an addressing scheme used in early LCD displays. This is a matrix addressing scheme meaning that only m + n control signals are required to address a m × n display. A pixel in a passive matrix must maintain its state without active driving circuitry until it can be refreshed again.

The signal is divided into a row or select signal and a column or video signal. The select voltage determines the row that is being addressed and all n pixels on a row are addressed simultaneously. When pixels on a row are being addressed, a Vsel potential is applied, and all other rows are unselected with a Vunsel potential. The video signal or column potential is then applied with a potential for each m columns individually. An on-lighted pixel corresponds to a Von, an off-switched corresponds to a Voff potential.

The potential across pixel at selected row i and column j is

V_{ij} = V_{sel} - V_{on|off}

and

V_{ij} = V_{unsel} - V_{on|off}

for the unselected rows.

Passive matrix addressed displays such as ferroelectric liquid crystal displays do not need the switch component of an active matrix display because they have built-in bistability. Technology for electronic paper also has a form of bistability. Displays with bistable pixel elements are addressed with a passive matrix addressing scheme, whereas TFT LCD displays are addressed using active addressing.

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