Glossary definition of Thin Film Transistor

Also known as: Active matrix, TFT

TFT (Thin Film Transistor or Active Matrix) LCD is a mass produced display technology that offers improved refresh rates and good contrast over passive matrix displays. It achieves this by adding an individual switch at every single pixel, which means that voltage can be actively supplied to individual pixels instead of one row and one column receiving current at a time.

A thin film transistor at each pixel allows much greater contrast and vastly improved refresh rates compared with older displays. This makes full motion video feasible with an active matrix.

The two disadvantages to TFT displays are that they have higher power consumption as each individual pixel drains current, and they are more expensive; it is not cheap to manufacture perfect large sheets of transistors, as current processes are low-yield.