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Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD) Module

Vacuum Fluorescent Displays (VFD's)


Vacuum Fluorescent Display (VFD) Module

What is a VFD module?

A VFD module is a display device consisting of a VFD mounted on a printed circuit board with control and drive circuitry, a power supply, and interface components.

How are VFD modules used?

VFD modules are widely used as the display or readout in various typed of electronic equipment such as the following: cash registers at supermarkets and convenience stores; informational marquees at financial institutions which display the interest rates, exchange rates, and stock prices; office equipment, measurement instruments, communication equipment, and home appliances.

What is a Message Display module?

Message Display modules readily provide a high quality scrolling display utilizing large, easily readable fonts making them very suitable for indoor messaging systems.

What is a Graphic Module?

A Graphic Module allows a customer the flexibility to design custom display graphics and font characters such as Kanji, Greek, or Hebrew.

What is a Dot Character module?

A Dot Character Module can display hundreds of font types, such as alphabets, numerals, katakana, or symbols, etc.

Is it possible to adjust the display brightness of a VFD module?

Yes, display brightness can be adjusted by means of the software dimming function. In fact, pixels on some graphic module can be adjusted individually to display gray scale images.

What types of interfaces do VFD modules use?

Various types of module interfaces, single or multiple, are used depending on the module configuration. For details, please refer to the specifications below.

Specifications of Message Module series

What is the input power of a VFD module?

The input power of a VFD module varies depending on the size, graphic image, brightness, and construction of the module. For details, please refer to the specifications below.
Specifications of Message Module series

What types of interface boards are available for VFD modules?

Please refer to the information below.
Specifications of Message Module series

How does Futaba regulate environmental issues, such as RoHS?

Please contact one of our sales offices in the link below.

How do you purchase a VFD module?

Please contact one of our sales offices in the link below for pricing and availability.

Vacuum Fluorescent Displays (VFD's)

Want is a VFD?

A VFD is a display device based on vacuum tube technology.

Electrons emitted from the heated cathode electrode are controlled by the grid electrode and hit the phosphor coated on the anode electrode causing light to be emitted displaying the image.  The VFD was invented in 1965 and in 1973, the original cylindrical type VFD was redeveloped into a flat type allowing a remarkable increase in the total light output.

What is the difference between VFD and LCD?

An obvious difference is that the VFD is an emissive display of which an LCD is not and needs a backlight.  Since various color phosphors are available, the VFD presents clear images in natural color, independent of the viewing angle.  The VFD operates over a wide temperature range required for automotive and industrial applications.

What is the major use of the VFD?

The VFD is used in audio equipment, video systems, and automotive vehicles, to name a few, because of its high reliability.  With the features of an emissive display, the VFD has come to be used in home appliances, such as a remote controller for a hot-water supply system.

Why is VFD so reliable?

Since it has a vacuum tube structure and is exposed to the hot production processes as high as 400ºC, its structure can withstand very severe operating conditions.

What color can be obtained from VFD?

Besides the most common green, more than nine luminous colors from red to blue can be obtained. The phosphor used for the VFD emits light having a wide color spectrum, so the luminous color can be easily changed by using an optical filter. For example, when a pink filter is attached, green phosphor appears white.

How long is the life time of VFD?

The life time of VFD for commercial/consumer use is 30,000 hours.  This life time is defined as the time when the initial brightness is reduced to half its brightness. However, after that time, the VFD will still be useable for displaying graphics, characters, and other patterns required to meet the end user requirements.

What is the power consumption of VFD?

A VFD for an audio application with a package size of 29mm x 100mm operating with all segments on typically consumes about 1W. The larger the package size, and the higher the brightness requirements, the more power will be consumed.

How can luminance be adjusted?

Luminance should be adjusted by changing the pulse width of the grid and anode signals. Though it is possible to adjust luminance by changing the voltage of the grid and anodes, this method may result in a lack of display uniformity and is not recommended.
For further details, refer to AN1901 “Notes for Handling Futaba’s VFD”.