Electronic Design

New-Generation Mobile Devices Will Need Optimized Displays

Expectations for power consumption are straining the capabilities of existing technology. Meanwhile, the convergence of feature-rich handsets requires brighter displays along with even more power-depleting processing.

Visually oriented interactive mobile applications such as games, Internet browsers, GPS, and media players will experience explosive growth in 2007—especially mobile video and television. But this growth needs the support of low-power, high-brightness displays.

That’s because mobile displays need at least double the brightness levels to handle high-dynamic-range content like video. They also contain data-centric content such as Web pages and text messages that require the displays to remain always on. The continuous power drain for such devices will greatly impact already tight power budgets.

Clairevoyante’s PenTile RGBW subpixel rendering technology increases luminance by improving the display’s aperture ratio and contrast levels. It also adds a clear (white) subpixel that attenuates (or absorbs) little if any light relative to conventional RGB displays. This doubles the display’s luminance levels without increasing power consumption.

PenTile RGBW-driven displays come much closer to matching the dynamic range of typical video images to provide an acceptable viewing experience. The technology can reduce the backlight’s power consumption and help stretch a power budget while still producing superior-quality images, all without lowering critical brightness levels.

Unlike legacy devices such as cell phones where the display is usually illuminated momentarily, data-centric applications like video, games, Web browsers, and GPS require the display backlight to be powered continuously. Today, it isn’t unusual for the backlight to consume more than half of the device’s total power.

Thanks to this subpixel rendering technology, display manufacturers in the coming year will introduce third-generation mobile displays that easily satisfy the stringent brightness and always-on requirements of advanced applications—without compromising battery life.

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