Organic light emitting diode (OLED) displays are a serious competitor to liquid crystal displays in view of their superior picture quality, higher contrast, faster on/off response, thinner profile, and high power efficiency. For large area and/or high-resolution applications, an active matrix OLED (AMOLED) addressing scheme is vital. The active matrix backplane can be made with amorphous silicon (a-Si), polysilicon, or organic technology, all of which suffer from threshold voltage shift and/or mismatch problems, causing temporal or spatial variations in the OLED brightness. In addition, the efficiency of the OLED itself degrades over time. Despite these shortcomings, there has been considerable progress in development of AMOLED displays using circuit solutions engineered to provide stable and uniform brightness. Indeed the design of AMOLED pixel circuits, particularly in low-mobility TFT technologies such as a-Si, is challenging due to the stringent requirements of timing, current matching, and low voltage operation. While circuit solutions are necessary, they are not sufficient. Process improvements to enhance TFT performance are becoming inevitable. This paper will review pertinent material requirements of AMOLED backplanes along with design considerations that address pixel architecture, contact resistance, and more importantly, the threshold voltage stability and associated gate overdrive voltage. In particular, we address the question of whether conventional PECVD can be deployed for high mobility and high stability TFTs, and if micro-/nano-crystalline silicon could provide the solution.